The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has published the results of its National Newt Survey for 2012, and reveals that to-date no newts have been recorded from Counties Louth or Tipperary.
2012 was the third year of the survey, which is supported by Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park and The Heritage Council and the IWT is Gradually building a comprehensive picture of the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) in Ireland, including details of its distribution and preferred habitats.
The smooth newt is one of only three amphibian species in Ireland, along with the common frog and natterjack toad, and is considered a native species. According to the IWT the newt has been historically under-recorded, so for 2012 they focused efforts on counties where they’d received few or no previous records. Volunteers were trained in newt survey techniques in Wexford, Mayo, Louth, Clare, Laois, Limerick, Kildare and Donegal. People from all over the country also submitted casual records, and these were incorporated into the survey results.
Adding the data for 2012 to records for the previous two years the IWT reveals that newts are widespread across Ireland, but says there are still significant gaps.
“Can it be that there are really no newts in Louth or Tipperary?” asks IWT Campaigns Officer Pádraic Fogarty. “There are also large areas in counties like Kerry, Mayo and Donegal where we have no confirmation of newt presence. Because the newt has historically been under-recorded it is likely that we still don’t have the full picture. We still have lots to do and are calling on people across Ireland to send us their newt sightings.”
More than half of the records submitted to the IWT cam from garden ponds… highlighting how important these artificial mini-wetlands are to this enigmatic amphibian. Other surprises included Ireland’s first ever alpine newt in Co. Galway — a species more at home on the continent, and likely to be a discarded or escaped pet, and a possible record of the Rana virus, otherwise known as ‘red-leg disease, from County Kildare — a disease that has decimated amphibian populations elsewhere in the world.
The IWT will be continuing its national newt survey in 2013, and will announcing more details of the survey and training days soon via its website and Facebook page.
For more information on the IWT’s newt survey click on the link or contact [email protected].
Photo Credit: © All Rights Reserved Andrew Kelly Photography — used with permission as per IWT Press Release
Gerry Cullen says
When I worked in security I was based in MSD on the Clonmel road. Five years ago the reed beds at the back of the plant contained hundreds of breeding pairs of frogs along with several breeding pairs of Newts, I would be supprised if this situtation has changed
Calvin Jones says
Hi Gerry… thanks for the comment… the National Newt Survey is ongoing for 2013, and I’m sure that the IWT would be delighted to hear of any sites you know of that contain breeding newt populations… you’ll find contact details for the survey coordinator if you click through to the article.
Mizzy Wonder says
I just found one… In Louth…
Mark Doyle says
Hi was out the countryside yesterday and saw a nice drain n said i reckon this would be a good spot to see a Newt as plants were growin etc water crystal clear i came back last night and counted 16 nearly a 50 , 50 split male female hadnt a red lens so just gave it a quick once over and plenty of frogs mating nice to see wont tell people where they are my secret leave them in peace
Recently went on a field trip to Xerox Dundalk, their environmental officer told us that had been newts breeding in their on site pond/rainwater storage… couldn’t confirm as I did not see any, but might be worth looking into.
I saw three of them in Roscommon yesterday took a few pictures of them
Peter Phillips says
Just found a newt in my garden near Ardee, County Louth this evening on my porch. I put it back in the log pile among the trees. I took a photo.
Spotted a female newt crossing the road near a stream in Tullycooly, Dromahair, Co Leitrim on Sunday. First time I ever saw one. Just managed to avoid her with the car wheels!
Dave Brady says
The pond beside my parents in Delgany Wicklow is to be lost to development. . .it’s the last remaining breeding area for newts and frogs. .is there no protection afforded them that the pond couldn’t be incorporated into the scheme
Calvin Jones says
Frogs and newts, and their breeding habitats, are protected under the wildlife act, so there may be something that can be done to incorporate the pond. Contact your local National Parks and Wildlife Service conservation ranger in the first instance for advice on the legislation around this and on what you can do.
Thank you. .sent an email there. . .pity to see it lost. I grew up there and nobody ever noticed the newts
Emmet NICHOLSON says
Just seen a newt on achill island.
Kieran Ryan says
Just moved to wexford, just a few min ago went outside for a smoke and first time ever in Ireland saw a perhaps 5 – 6 inch “lizzard”. I assume a newt, too dark to photo, but no fear at all – raised neck and head up when I went to catch “him”, to release back into fields behind.
Never saw one before, no idea how to handle and certainly didn’t want to injure the little fella so I just left him be.
Margaret Grant says
Hi I live in Waterford just on the outskirts yesterday as I was cleaning out my shed i came across a Newt I left him where I found him the fields behind our house is marchey land haven’t seen one in over 20 years because of development around and now there’s plans for more on the marchey land .
I’m living in Ireland for a few years and now I see for the first time one of them inside my home.
Dermot Murnane says
My son regularly finds newts in a pond by the edge of Lough Derg in Tipperary.
They are alive and well here.