ESR 1:25-40 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/esr001025

Successful re-introduction of the newts Triturus cristatus and T. vulgaris

Otto Kinne*

Inter-Research Science Center and International Ecology Institute Nordbünte 21 & 23, 21385 Oldendorf/Luhe, Germany
*Email: . Fax: +49 4132 8883

ABSTRACT: The newts Triturus cristatus and T. vulgaris are endangered species. In spite of laws protecting them and their habitats in many countries, the number and size of their populations continue to decrease. Hence, protection is not enough. We must learn more about their ecology and build new homes for them by restoring old and creating new habitats. The local initiatives reported here are intended to serve as an example of assisting the newts in their fight for survival. The author studied their ecology, put an end to agricultural activities in a small section of the Luhe valley (North Germany), provided breeding ponds, summer habitats, overwintering quarters, and reduced predator pressures. Over 10 years the natural reproductive capacity of the newts was supported by releasing annually, into newly built ponds, ca.150 larvae and juveniles (about 60 T. cristatus and 90 T. vulgaris)—bred, reared and raised in own enclosures. These measures have resulted in the successful re-introduction of the newts to an area in which they had lived, presumably for a very long time, until human activities destroyed the basis of their existence and thus caused extinction.

KEY WORDS: Triturus cristatus · T. vulgaris · Re-introduction · Endangered amphibians

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