The Great Easter Newt Hunt -
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Results for 2011-2012

We received a total of 310 records from you during 2011 and 2012. Thank you! They included:-

610 male smooth newts during the day and 457 during the night,

668 male palmate newts during the day and 708 during the night,

and 896 female newts during the day and 949 during the night.

Other Species

In addition, you reported that :-

43 of your ponds contained great crested newts,

171 of your ponds contained frogs,

and 62 of them contained toads.

The Great Easter New Hunt will return again in 2013!

To see where you reported seeing smooth and palmate newts, and to find out who also saw great crested newts, frogs and toads, check out our maps below! Palmate newt hunters are still “winning” the challenge with 73% of people reporting this species. 45% of surveyors reported smooth newts. This supports the results of other surveys by ARC and through the NARRS project that palmate newts seem to be becoming more widespread. It’s good to know that they are doing well in garden ponds!

So where did you see your newts?
Ninety-two per cent of you saw your newts in small or medium sized ponds, and most of these were un-shaded or only part shaded. Only about half the ponds in the Newt Hunt were over five years old indicating that even relatively new ponds can be very good for wildlife.

Encouragingly, 94% of Newt Hunters did NOT use chemicals in their gardens (good!) and 87% of ponds had water plants. Just 16% of newt ponds in this study had fish in them – leaving out fish is one of the best ways of encouraging wildlife into your pond.

Interestingly, 37% of ponds where you saw newts weren’t specifically wildlife ponds and 60% of you said cats used the gardens where you did your surveys. This shows us that your ponds are a good home for newts even if they aren’t necessarily designed for wildlife and even if there’s a danger from predation by cats! Perhaps, though, the sort of person who likes cats is also more likely to like wildlife and therefore have a pond!?

What ponds do newts like best then?
If we combine the results of the 2011 and 2012 Easter Newt Hunts, it shows us that the typical pond you reported that contained smooth and/or palmate newts was under 5m in size in a chemical-free garden, up to half shaded and usually contained aquatic plants but not fish.

This is more evidence that even small ponds can be great habitat for smooth and palmate newts and some even provide a home for the protected great crested newt. The best ponds for newts (and other wildlife) seem to be in chemical and fish-free gardens. Keep caring for your ponds and other garden wildlife and check back here for more newt hunting in 2013!

Map of reported newts

Map of other species reported