Great crested newts research question

17-September-2009Please mousover hard words to see what they mean

Transcript of great crested newts research question

The basic question is 'How is the population doing?'

We've got data on how many adults were moved across. We know reasonably from HEL's work what the population size was looking like in the run-up to the translocation. So the question is: are we maintaining that population at favourable levels compared to what it was like on the old site?

There are two main sampling regimes we're using for the adults. One is your basic counts, which is torchlight surveys. So once it's dark you go to a pond with a very bright torch - 500-1000 plus candles - and you do one full circuit, walking slowly round the edge of the pond, shining the torch in and counting all the adults you see.

What you get is a count per pond. You do that five times throughout the breeding season. From that you get the peak count per pond - the largest number of males and females you've seen in the season.

To get a rough population size they've worked out that if you multiply that count by 3 to 10 that gives you a population estimate. So if 10 adult newts was your peak count, you'd have a population size of 30 to 100.

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