Great crested newt

Latin name: Triturus cristatus

The great crested newt is the largest of the British newts (170mm). They have dark, granular skin when on land which becomes paler and orangey-brown once in water. The breeding males are very distinctive with an iridescent stripe along the tail, a jagged crest along its back and a smoother crest along the top of the tail.

There is great potential for great crested newts in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Its current distribution is largely unknown partly due to a shortage of licensed surveyors. However in 2010 this species became a priority species for the Yorkshire Dales National Park and consequently wildlife conservation team of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority is working with local volunteers to assist with the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS). New records were found in 2011 in Ribblesdale and survey work will continue in 2012. In addition, in 2012 an Integrated Habitat Network analysis carried out for a Great Created Newt showed great potential this species in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Nationally the great crested newt population has been declining due to habitat loss such as the filling in of ponds, as a result the species continues to be on the UK list of priority species for biodiversity action. The habitat of the great crested newt is now legally protected and it is an offence to capture or disturb the species without a license.

Go to the A-Z of wildlife

Wharfedale in Yorkshire is a valley favoured by nature and enriched by romance. From 'Wharfedale' by Ella Pontefract & Marie Hartley

Facts at your fingertips