Habitat/Species Monitoring

Habitat/Species Monitoring

Sites of ecological interest may require monitoring of either a particular species or habitat, to conserve and preserve the specific interest. Ecological monitoring can provide valuable information on how a community or population is progressing.

The information gained by monitoring communities and populations can help to assess whether there have been any adverse impacts due to changes in current management techniques, land-use changes or habitat alterations. Appropriate mitigation works can then be implemented.

Detailed great crested newt population monitoring

Detailed great crested newt population monitoring

This population of great crested newts were translocated to a new area (a receptor site) which had been created and managed specifically for amphibian species. Monitoring was undertaken the following year, to assess survival rates and check if further mitigation works were required.

Amphibians were captured during their migration to their breeding ponds and their belly patterns were recorded. As shown in the photographs to the left, belly patterns of great crested newts are individual, just like human finger prints. Over 125 belly patterns were recorded, so that each newt could be recognised during following monitoring surveys. Monitoring works are ongoing.


Top photo: Male Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus) © Simon Booth

Left photos: Great Crested Newt belly patterns © Simon Booth

Right photo: Female Great Crested Newt © Simon Booth


  1. hi ya my mum and me just found a orange bellied tiger patterned newt down our field looks like the one in these pictures any idea wat they are called doesnt look like a normal pond newt. thanks

    • Hi Sarah,

      There are three native species of newt, smooth newt, palmate newt and great crested newt, although there have been cases where non-native species have been found in the wild.

      The great crested newt is legally protected and should not be handled or disturbed.

      The Field Studies Council(FSC)do an identification sheet that may help, it costs around £3.00, but if you have a photo, send it over and I will try and help.

      They are amazing creatures, check out their biology, for example, they can regrow limbs, they do not have a waterproof skin, they do courtship dances in their breeding ponds, they do not regulate their body temperature so are the same temperature as their surroundings. Certain species secrete a pungent toxin when alarmed and they have individual belly patterns like a human finger print, there is much more…

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