Quantifying the Status of the Great Crested Newt in Wales
Authors: French, G.C.A., Wilkinson, J.W., Fletcher, D.H. and Arnell, A.
Publisher: Natural Resources Wales
Place of Publication: BangorAbstract:
The great crested newt is declining in the United Kingdom despite full European-level protection. Reporting on the species’ status to the EU is carried out at UK level but nature conservation is a devolved function. Knowledge and quantification of the great crested newt’s status in Wales will therefore form part of future aggregated UK-level reports.
This report combines GIS model outputs from previous reports (commissioned by CCW) for Anglesey and North East Wales, Powys and Brecon Beacons National Park, and South Wales (Gower to Monmouthshire) to derive robust, repeatable great crested newt status metrics for the species across its distribution in Wales. Combined model outputs were good to excellent (AUC 0.71 to 0.86) and successfully quantified “range” (7,312 km2 ), “population” (3,271 occupied ponds) and “habitat” (2,2170 km2 ) parameters, as well as suggesting a proxy quantification for habitat quality (810 high quality ponds).
The utility of these metrics, suggestions for improving quantification through iterative modelling and ground truthing, and the application of these techniques to other regions and countries of the UK are discussed.