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The Stage 2 Newt Survey is used toBottle trapping in East Yorkshire.  Hall 2011. establish whether great crested newts are present or absent from a pond as well as being able to establish a population estimate by extending the level of survey once GCN have been identified as present.  An NE class licence is required to disturb and handle GCN.Male great crested newt.  Hall 2011.

The standard methodolgy used to survey ponds for GCN is to use three out of four survey techniques.  These are visual searches for GCN using high powered torches, egg searching looking at vegetation within the pond which establishes the pond as being used for breeding, using a net to catch GCN and the use of bottle traps to capture GCN.

These techniques are used over four visits to establish whether newts are present or Male great crested newt.  Hall 2011.absent.  This is extended by another two visits (six in total) to establish a population estimate which is required to inform an NE licence application and accompanying mitigation plan.

Each visit starts with the deployment of bottle traps in the afternoon.  The egg search is conducted at the same time (this is stopped once eggs have been spotted as the technique is destructive).  At this point netting can be conducted which is particularly useful for ponds that are very turpid or cloudy.  If netting is not carried out then surveyors leave to return after dark to search for GCN using torches.

The bottle traps are removed the next morning with any GCN captured being recorded and then released back into the pond.

Each pond is given a ‘peak count’ score which is the highest number of GCN recorded using the different surveying techniques.  e.g. 54 newts were trapped using the bottle traps but only 23 where torched.  The peak count score is 54 which equates to a population score of Good.

Further details can be found in the Great Crested Newt Conservation Handbook available here.

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