Habitat Management Case Study
Client: Major Waste Operator
After several years of establishment plants in the Great crested Newt (GCN) mitigation ponds at a landfill in the South-East had become overly successful. This in turn meant that the GCN habitat was no longer suitable for them. Male GCNs need an area of open water to carry out courtship displays and females require semi-submerged plants like water forget-me-knot and water mint to lay their eggs on. These smaller plants were getting out competed through natural selection by larger plants like common reed. Following the annual torch surveys data was indicating a small decline in population; through this data it was decided which ponds required the most urgent attention and two of the eight ponds were selected.
All eight of the ponds in the mitigation area are now managed on a four year rotation. Pond area are assessed following critical inspection points during the annual GCN survey and where identified, cleared of large dominant plants. Early indications show a massive increase in the numbers of Great Crested Newts within the ponds that underwent vegetation management in winter 2016/2017.