School of Anthropology & Conservation

Excellence in diversity Global in reach

Examining the fate of local great crested newt
populations following licensed developments


Principal Investigator: Professor Richard Griffiths
Project dates: 1 May 2011-30 November 2013
Funding: Defra: £190,296
Collaborators: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation


The demand for housing and industrial, recreational and commercial development is placing increasing pressures on protected species and their habitats in the UK. When a development threatens an area containing a species that is afforded legal protection, such as the great crested newt, there is a legal obligation to undertake appropriate mitigation measures to reduce the impact of the development on the species. Under current guidelines, a typical mitigation involves pre- and post-development population and habitat assessments, habitat management and enhancement and actions that will reduce the likelihood of animals being killed by the development activity (e.g. translocation or exclusion of the population from the development site). However, on a national scale, there is a paucity of information concerning how great crested newts are faring at sites subjected to mitigation actions.

This project aims to provide an assessment of the effectiveness of development mitigation measures for great crested newts since revised guidance on best practice was published in 2001. The results of the project will allow the relevant government agencies to perform their statutory duties more efficiently and more cost-effectively. Equally, scientists, landowners, developers and professional ecological consultants will benefit from improved guidance for dealing with situations where great crested newts and their habitats come into conflict with development.


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Last Updated: 30/09/2014