As many of us are preparing for a well-earned long weekend and a chocolate egg or two, Native ecology are planning a different kind of Easter egg hunt!
The great crested newt breeding season is here, which means that we are busy charging torches and preparing traps ready to survey suitable ponds. As well as using torch-light to identify great crested newts around the pond edge on mild evenings, we also employ a method called an ‘egg search’.
Unlike frogs and toads, female great crested newts lay their eggs individually. They carefully wrap each egg in the leaf of an aquatic plant using their hind feet. This not only protects the developing eggs from predators, but also keeps them well oxygenated.
Since a development or project can impact great crested newts as far as 500m from the nearest breeding pond, many require our survey assistance to determine whether this species is present and if so, the population size. If the impacts of a development are low, often knowing whether great crested newts are present or absent is sufficient information, and this can be achieved by finding a single egg.
Great crested newts are protected under The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010, which means that individual ecological consultants must have a licence from Natural England to survey this species. Native Ecology are highly experienced in surveying great crested newts, with all of our ecologists holding the appropriate licence.
If your project requires a great crested newt survey it is important not to delay. The survey season is very restricted, with April and May being a critical period.
Contact Native Ecology today to receive a competitive quotation for survey work carried out by qualified experts.