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The latest chapter in a conservation story: completing 10 years of posttranslocation monitoring for a population of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) in Scotland

Harper, LR, McNeill, DC and Downie, JR (2017) The latest chapter in a conservation story: completing 10 years of posttranslocation monitoring for a population of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) in Scotland. The Glasgow Naturalist, 26 (4).

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Abstract

During the late 1990s, industrial development threatened a large population of great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) at Gartcosh, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. In 2004 – 2006, the population was relocated during the first ex situ conservation-based translocation in Scotland, from Gartcosh Industrial Site to the specially created Gartcosh Nature Reserve (GNR). By 2006, 1,012 great crested newts had been translocated to GNR. Peak adult counts obtained by torchlight survey in 2006 were low but continued to increase steadily, exceeding 400 adults in 2010. Later monitoring recorded a decline with 221 adults in 2011. Thereafter, surveys consistently recorded over 400 adults but no monitoring occurred in 2014. In 2015, the highest counts (515 adults) throughout the entire monitoring period were recorded, and a significant increase in overall population growth over time (1998 – 2003, 2006 – 2013, 2015) identified. Until 2011, amphibian fencing prevented great crested newt migration between each of the four zones within GNR and each zone effectively contained a great crested newt subpopulation. When adult counts within zones over time (2006 – 2013, 2015) were examined, two zones had increased whilst two zones had declined. Significant differences in mean counts were found for all zones, with overall growth highest in Bothlin Burn. This may indicate migration between zones, or differences in habitat allowing two zones to thrive whilst the other two faltered. The population retains its status as the largest in Scotland, with the effect of the translocation being negligible or positive. However, our results indicate the need for continued monitoring of translocated amphibian populations and studies on great crested newt migration. Additionally, the zone declines indicate that some ponds may be less favourable and require modification to remain suitable for great crested newts in the longer term.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Glasgow Natural History Society
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2020 11:45
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 11:45
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13235

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