Believe it or not, but it is nearly the end of January!
As any good ecological consultant will be aware, the survey season for great crested newts will soon be upon us. As a protected species, it is an offence to capture (take) or disturb these fantastic little amphibians, which means that surveys for GCN need to be undertaken by an ecologist with a licence to undertake trapping and other activities that would otherwise be an offence.
As days lengthen, newts and other amphibians will be heading towards ponds to breed - the courtship display is one of the marvels of British Wildlife and a story for another blog. Once in ponds, that is the optimal time for undertaking surveys, and the reason why traditional newt survey methods advocate sampling for amphibians between mid March and mid-June (with most surveys between mid-April and mid May).
In recent years the use of Environmental DNA (EDNA) technology has provided another approach to surveys, with surveys being valid from mid-April onwards.
The key message, is that if you have a site where newts surveys are likely to be required, you need to get them into your programme now to ensure that you do not miss the boat! If you leave it until June, you will have left it to late , and there would be a real danger of a delay to programme and a serious entry in a project's risk register!
Get in touch via my contacts page for an informal chat about protected species or to discuss your survey requirements.
This is intended to host my articles on ecology, news about what I am up to, and general musings or ramblings about things that concern me....