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Great Crested Newt Surveys in Scotland
Great Crested Newts are the largest newt found in the UK, and are legally protected through Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act and Schedule 2 of the Habitat Regulations 1994, on account of their major population decline over the last century.
The legislation protects individual newts and their habitat. This effectively means that any proposed development needs to firstly, identify the presence or absence of Great Crested Newts with their site and surrounding area and secondly, if they are present develop a strategy or mitigation which allows their conservation status to remain favourable.
An initial survey could be undertaken to identify waterbodies that are suitable to support Great Crested Newt using a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) scoring system.
Surveys are seasonally restricted and can only take place between mid-March and mid-June. A Great Crested Newt Survey from The Wildlife Survey unit would be undertaken by a licensed surveyor and would identify:
All survey methods follow those detailed in the following documents:
Migation and EPS licensing would be required for any development that affects a breeding site or any adjacent foraging and hibernacula habitat.
The Wildlife Survey unit also undertake surveys of other amphibian species, including assessing overall population assemblages.