RAUK - Archived Forum - Palmate Newt Distribution

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Palmate Newt Distribution:

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Angelo Pernetta
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Joined: 09 Jul 2004
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Posted: 29 Sep 2004

Dear All,

Im currently trying to research what has determined the current distribution of Palmate newts on the islands off the coast of britain. I was wondering if anyone knew/ had access to a list of islands on which it is present?

Many thanks in advance for your help

Angelo Pernetta


Angelo Pernetta
PhD Student,
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Dorset
http://uk.geocities.com/angelopernetta/
Matt Harris
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Joined: 03 Jun 2003
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Posted: 01 Oct 2004
Not much help I know but I can say that it does NOT occur on Flat Holm in the Severn Estuary.
Gwent Amphibian and Reptile Group (GARG)
-LAF
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
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Posted: 02 Oct 2004
You'll struggle like hell to find them in Lincolnshire too. A couple of heathland sites have records but they are a tiny minority. There are a few islands in the Humber with interesting fauna and flora (black rats anyone?) but I know of no newt information for these. Judging by land either side though I suspect these are fully palmate free.

Lee.-LAF38262.0650347222
Lee Fairclough
Caleb
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 04 Oct 2004
Angelo, have you seen the distribution map published by the BRC?

There's a scan of it at http://www.darkwave.org.uk/~caleb/triukhel.html

It looks like they've been recorded from very few islands round the UK...


Angelo Pernetta
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Joined: 09 Jul 2004
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Posted: 04 Oct 2004

Many thanks for those messages

I havent seen the map before - that was a great help.

I'll keep you posted with what I find out


Angelo Pernetta
PhD Student,
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Dorset
http://uk.geocities.com/angelopernetta/
calumma
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Posted: 04 Oct 2004
One of the islands where palmates have been recorded is Isle of Sheppy in Kent. However, the two records on my database are rather suspect and need verification. There are no other palmate records in that part of the county. Interestingly there are no records from the South Essex coast either. Perhaps Jon can shed some light on the Essex distribution.



In case you don't know Kent. The Isle of Sheppy is towards the top of the map. Although it looks like it is joined to the rest of Kent, there is in fact a wide channel between it and the mainland. calumma38264.613275463
Lee Brady
Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant

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Angelo Pernetta
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Joined: 09 Jul 2004
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Posted: 04 Oct 2004

Thanks Lee for that message - I have a theory as to why Palmate newts have been recorded on Islands such as Sheppy without being recorded in the near vicinity on the mainland. I dont want to go into detail yet as it needs more backing - but as soon as I think I have enough proof I'll let you know!

Thanks again

Angelo


Angelo Pernetta
PhD Student,
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology - Dorset
http://uk.geocities.com/angelopernetta/
calumma
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Jun 2003
No. of posts: 351


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Posted: 04 Oct 2004
Angelo,

When you have the data, I would certainly be interested in learning more about your hypothesis. I'm keen on collecting more herp data from Sheppy (and some of the other small islands in the Thames Estuary). We were hoping to include it in our survey programme this year. Unfortunately none of our volunteer surveyors lived close enough...

Perhaps next year.

Lee
Lee Brady
Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant

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herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 30 Nov 2004

Angelo

Palmate Newt records from Islands around the Essex Coastline is only Mersea Island - There are no records for the species on Canvey Island, or Two Tree Island - Palmates live very close by on the mainland - Belfairs Nature Reserve - an ancient woodland with a Bagshot sand/claygate geology.

The Mersea Island Record needs verifiying but the nearest mainland records are West and South West of Colchester - again in woodland sites such as Friday Woods, Pods Wood and Layer Breton -

The population of palmates in Friday Woods are doing nicely in tank rutts - this is an army training ground!!!

I can send through my records for palmate in Essex

 

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
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Ewan
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Joined: 14 Jul 2003
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Posted: 06 Dec 2004
Hi Angelo
I found Palmates present a couple of years ago in ~15 bog pools spread over a couple of sq km on Sgurr na Stri next to the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. Interestingly several of the breeding males were significantly smaller than normal.

Ewan.

Found the photo. The coin is a 1p.

Ewan38335.9521875
Ewan Shilland
Contract Research Scientist
Environmental Change Research Centre
University College London
Mick
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Posted: 27 Nov 2005
I've read about & also found for myself that Palmate newts of heathland ponds can be rather small. Anyway, although i introduced Palmates to my pond many years ago (where they're still doin' great alongside Smooths & the odd few visiting Cresteds), there's none known to be in the wild here in north Oxfordshire. In fact, i think just about the only ones i've heard of in this county are meant to exist at a BBONT reserve on the edge of Oxford. 
herpetologic2
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Posted: 28 Nov 2005

 

Hi Mick

Palmates have been rediscovered in Norfolk by Steve Prowse (NARG + NT) by looking for ponds in ancient woodland located on acidic geology and he has found that the species is also associated with Sessile Oak - he gave an excellent talk on this at the East Anglia Regional Meeting (19th Nov) and he is hoping to find more palmate newt sites - funnily enough the palmate is rarer than the Natterjack Toad in Norfolk!

Perhaps you should look for similar sites to the one you know may contain newts in the BBONT reserve

 

Regards

JC


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
Mick
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005
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Posted: 28 Nov 2005

Hi JC.

I've only read, or heard they're at that reserve (called the Henry stephen/C.S.Lewis Reserve where all 3 native species are meant to be)  & the area's unfortunately a bit too far from me to survey. Anyway, i wouldn't be at all surprised if the possible Palmates there were introduced. That's great news about Palmates in Norfolk by the way! 

I suppose it depends on the places in the UK i've been to but, for myself, i find the Palmate almost as rare as the Crested to come across, although thankfully Cresteds aren't rare in Oxfordshire. I just don't think Oxfordshire's got much in the way of those typically acidic ponds that Palmates naturally tend to frequent.

For studying their pond antics up close, i think Palmates are slightly more characterful, interesting & fun to watch than Smooths. Then again, i find all newts up my pond fascinating fun to spend to ages every year watching.         


herpetologic2
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Posted: 29 Nov 2005

 

Steve mentioned that they court alot more than the smoothies- it would be worth looking for any woodland near you - if the woodland is on high ground like a hill or an acidic geology then it may well be worth looking for the newts if you have a chance.

I have looked at the geology of Oxfordshire and it seems pretty much alkaline or neutral - which possibly wouldnt be favourable for the newt?

regards

JC


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
Caleb
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 29 Nov 2005
I'd be very interested to know more about the palmate site(s) in Norfolk, as East Anglia's notoriously bad for palmates. Crested newt is certainly more common than palmate in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

As well as acidity, water hardness has been suggested as a factor in palmate distribution in the UK. There are certainly acidic heaths in Suffolk & Norfolk where palmates haven't been recorded, whereas similar habitats elsewhere in the country do have them.

For a survey targeted at acidic habitats, it would be well worth looking at soil maps as well as geological ones, as the conditions near the surface can be very different to the underlying geology.
herpetologic2
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Posted: 29 Nov 2005

 

Yeah thats right there is a great little feature on the www.magic.gov.uk website where you map the soil scape of counties very handy to locate potential newt sites -

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
will j
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Joined: 06 Aug 2005
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Posted: 24 Jan 2006
aren't there palmates on the Scilly islands and either Jersey are Gurnesy?
Birder from Shropshire, adrift in Cornwall!
Caleb
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Posted: 25 Jan 2006
As I understand it, there are palmates on Jersey, and smooths in Guernsey. I don't know about the Scilly Isles...
Mick
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Posted: 25 Feb 2006

JC recently enquired of herp's on the Scillies & i think it was found that, of newt species, there's records of Smooths there. I'd have thought Palmates were more likely, as well as maybe a land reptile, or two, but apparently not. 


- Palmate Newt Distribution

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