RAUK - Archived Forum - newts and ducks

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newts and ducks:

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hubcap
Member
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
No. of posts: 2


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Posted: 14 Oct 2008
Hi

Im not sure if this is the correct place to post, but am sure the
moderators can move it if required. today whilst moving a wood stack in
my garden i found 2 newts, initially i thought i had killed one as it was
very still. But when i returned from showing the other one to my
delighted daughter the first had moved a short distance to cover.

I now know that to handle them is not necessarily the best way forward
but my curiosity got the better of me.

Anyway my kids want to keep them, is this such a bad thing?

the other idea is that we have just rescued 2 young ducks for which we
are about to dig a pond, would they(the newts!) have any chance of
survival in this pond? or should i just let them go into some covered
ground on the edge of the garden?

Im not sure where they have come form as i am unaware of ponds near to
us, however we do periodically find frogs in the garden, it is possible that
many years ago there was a pond in our garden, would they still be
returning for this?

how can we keep track of them once they are released?
tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 14 Oct 2008

hi

the pond sounds like an excellent idea that the newts will love. my kids were constantly wanting to keep the amphibians they found around the place so we built them a pond. they spend hours in the spring and summer catching newts, naming them then letting them go again. they reckon they can even recognise different individuals now! it doesn't seem to have upset the newts too much either. they stayed in the pond all summer and we have had plenty of eggs and newtlets.

in late summer newts leave the water and live on land. around now they will be settling down to hibernate but will be looking for a pond again by februaryish as that's when the breeding season starts. if your kids can wait, let the newts go again where you found them...they should find cover easily enough. then create your pond over the winter and by next year or more realistically the year after there will probably be newts in it for the kids to enjoy. if you make sure the garden in general is newt friendly also that will help to keep them around, e.g. plenty of dense vegetation, logs and large flat stones to hide under.

i don't think anyone would judge you and your kids too harshly if you did decide to keep the newts for a while...i reckon most of us have done something similar at one time or another and probably gained a lot from it but i have to say, my kids have enjoyed the pond as much as having a 'pet'.

good luck whatever you decide to do.

tim


Peter
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Jan 2008
No. of posts: 260


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Posted: 15 Oct 2008

Garden ponds are great for newts to colonize.  I would be wary about combining newts and ducks in a small pond however.   I have kept ducks before, and as nice as the eggs were, the area was stripped bare in a very short space of time.  We kept them as we had a stretch of river going through our garden.  We would recieve occasional visits from frogs which would have to run the gauntlet of the ducks and never fared very well.

In a small pond which held newts and ducks I would say that very soon it would just be a home for the ducks with not a newt in sight.





tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 15 Oct 2008

hmm...a couple of ponds might be in order then.

tim


hubcap
Member
Joined: 14 Oct 2008
No. of posts: 2


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Posted: 16 Oct 2008

Thanks for the helpful information.

The two ponds concept was my next idea, the second wouldn't need to be big would it?

We have decided to keep the newts for a short while in a fish tank borrowed from the in-laws' the children seem really interested in them. I have put rain water in from a butt, and peashingle as land, with some rotting wood and some moss and turf as habitat, there are pleanty of bugs small worms etc coming out of the wood, is there anything else they will need?


ben rigsby
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
No. of posts: 337


View other posts by ben rigsby
Posted: 12 Dec 2010
just read this. sorry to get in on the act so late!

ive got two ponds myself and ive found the arrangement to work pretty well for frogs and newts.

originally i dug just the one but quickly realised that without intervention i wouldnt have any tadpoles. newts were eating both spawn and early "hanging stage" tads like there was no tomorrow. cresteds were consuming the eggs heavily at night and smooths were seen tucking in during the day as well. i watched them do it regularily.

and so i made a second (hastily-constructed and much shallower) pond which i dubbed my "birthing pool". the first year i removed some frogspawn to it hoping to "bring on" taddies to the free-swimming stage. with a view to releasing them into the big pond when they were better able to fend for themselves.

i never intended the second pool to be anything but temporary but the following year and ever since, the vast majority of returning adult rana switched to breeding there instead of the bigger main pond. so this crappy-looking water body remains.
it freezes solid in winter.

whether the frogs changed pond preference in an effort to avoid the heavy newt prescence in the main pool or whether females just chose it because being shallower, it heats up more (speeding up metamorphosis) i dont know.

a few newts have inevitably found there way there of course but urodele numbers are nothing like those in my main pond.

so now i have both frogs and newts.
just to be on the safe side though, i put a clump of frogspawn in an aquarium outside too.


hope this helps!

ben

PS avoid ducks. they eat everything and pollute the water with their excrement. seen the effects quite often in farmyard ponds.
Diversity.

- newts and ducks

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