What our animals are doing this month… September 2019
As we head towards the end of summer we reach the period where newts will leave ponds for the year, with most newts having left their pond by the end of August. Overwintering newts or those still in the process of metamorphosis may still be present within a pond however. Great crested newts may move up to 120m in a night and may disperse up to 1km in total.
These movements will be dictated by the availability of surrounding habitats in addition to any barriers present that may be a problem such as roads, which can reduce habitat connectivity and cause road mortality for amphibians. Adult newts are more likely to engage in short-term migration with juveniles responsible for long-term and wider ranging dispersal throughout the landscape and between other sub-populations. Studies have also suggested that female newts are involved in longer distance movements than males.
Newts still in the process of metamorphosis will also disperse in due course. Great crested newt larvae will reach a length of 50 – 90mm before metamorphosis, smooth newt larvae at 30 – 45mm and palmate newt larvae at 25 – 40mm. During this process they will grow legs and absorb their external gills which are replaced by lungs to breathe air.
Remember to record your sightings of amphibians and reptiles on our Dragon Finder app.