Great Crested Newt Surveys: Habitat Suitability and eDNA Assessment

What is a Habitat Suitability or eDNA Assessment?

Habitat Suitability Assessments look at a range of factors to provide an overview of the suitability of onsite terrestrial and aquatic habitats to provide habitat for great crested newts.

Sometimes, a cost effective way to establish whether newts are present on site is to use an eDNA technique to look for the presence of great crested newt DNA in the ponds - this is especially valuable in longer time-frame projects or where there are many ponds to survey on site.

In some cases, a baseline habitat suitability assessment or eDNA survey is the only survey type required to support a Planning Application. Sometimes the assessment will identify suitable conditions for newts, or the eDNA test comes back positive and then it may be necessary to conduct further surveys in order to meet Best PractiCe.

 

How can LSC help?

We can provide a robust and reliable assessment of newt habitat suitability on your site, taking into account a variety of variables as detailed in the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) assessment protocol. Our ecologists have a wide field of experience in undertaking great crested newt presence/absence surveys across a range of sites and this feedback helps to generate a greater awareness and understanding of the conditions in which great crested newts would be expected.

Our ecologists are experienced with the eDNA survey methodology, which requires careful sampling of water using high standards of care to avoid contamination and generate a reliable result. We work with specialist partners who undertake the lab tests to identify whether a pond, or network of ponds, contains newts. Interpretation of these results allows our team to provide you with the best advice on how to proceed in compliance with the legislation, and with minimum time constraint and cost to your project.

Our surveys are completed to the Best Practice Guidelines outlined by Natural England, and our reports consistently and comprehensively provide the information required by our clients to secure Planning Permission and support Licence Applications where necessary,

 A great crested newt which was identified by one of our team during surveys in 2016.

A great crested newt which was identified by one of our team during surveys in 2016.


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