The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 04. How does a newt find its way from a pond Migration patterns after breeding and metamorphosis in great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) and smooth newts (T. vulgaris)

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pp.29-35

Authors: Jan C. Malmgren

Abstract: Migration patterns across a drift fence with pitfall traps were studied between 1997 and 1999 at a breeding pond with populations of great crested newts, Triturus cristatus, and smooth newts, T. vulgaris, at a study site in south-central Sweden. Metamorphs and older newts emigrated from the pond non-randomly and seemed to avoid exiting where open fields adjoined, but were oriented towards a patch of forest immediately to the east of the pond. Movement patterns changed slightly over the years, but metamorphs were more dispersed and less concentrated than older newts, and did not choose directions identical to those of older newts. Older great crested and smooth newts showed similar directional orientation. Great crested newt metamorphs dispersed towards both edges of the forest patch, and possible explanations for this are discussed. The results suggest that orientation in relation to cues from the surroundings of a breeding pond may be used by newts to make migratory decisions.

Keywords: Amphibia, behaviour, conservation, dispersion, circular statistics

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