16 September 2010

Great newt news in London

Froglife has exciting results from one of its London projects. Great Crested Newts Revisited has had a busy first season, discovering amphibians in every Borough surveyed so far. The project has been enabled with £101,370.00 funding from SITA Trust to revisit places known to have newts, pulling together fresh information. Froglife will be sharing the vital results with GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London) and record centres to facilitate planning and the protection of wildlife habitats.

Project Officer Sivi Sivanesan has spotted newts in every Borough surveyed with the help of volunteers, although they are not necessarily in every pond in each Borough. Populations have been found in Bexley, Havering, Richmond Upon Thames, Merton, Enfield, Haringey, Hillingdon, Greenwich and Bromley. More Boroughs will be surveyed so that records can hopefully be developed for the whole City.

“It looks like there are still newts on most of the historical sites, which is really good news,” explains Sivi. “Most people would never spot them, and the volunteers have been surprised to discover a whole new, wild world hiding in the heart of sub-urban London.”

Ongoing monitoring will be the key to finding out how stable the populations of newts in the City are in the long term, particularly as the project has also found a number of neglected ponds.

“All Londoners can play a part in looking after these hubs for wildlife. Take your picnic litter home, volunteer to help look after a local pond, or come out newt hunting! ” added Sivi.

Help is always needed surveying and monitoring ponds in London. Find out more and get in touch with Sivi here.