Written by Nathan Gardner, Transforming Lives Trainee
As November comes along, we start to settle down on the couch with a warm mug of hot chocolate in hand. Our animal friends are also beginning to settle down as they begin their long slumber of hibernation.
However, newts (as well as other amphibians) do not hibernate, instead they ‘brumate’ (meaning they will come out to forage during warmer periods) which will usually begin from the start of November up until February. Being cold-blooded, winter is not the kindest towards reptiles and amphibians. Therefore, they will take refuge in warm, unfrosted areas such as the underside of log piles and even inside of animal burrows.
Surprisingly, newts can even brumate at the bottom of ponds, but these ponds must have certain requirements. They must be deep enough that the water does not completely freeze and have lots of dissolved oxygen. Newts have skin that can absorb oxygen through the water, therefore allowing them to stay underwater throughout winter.
Sweet dreams, newts! We look forward to seeing you next year!