Like is the story with so many species, the great crested newt has suffered at the hands of habitat modification, primarily in the form of agricultural intensification. Due to this, their populations declined markedly during the latter part of the twentieth century. And, although they are currently widespread, there is cause for concern because populations are still being lost or damaged.
Tom and I spend the southern hemisphere’s summer in New Zealand, my home country, and the northern hemisphere’s summer in England, Tom’s home country. We follow the summer because it is also the ecology season when we get most work. The flight can be pretty long when you have to travel half-way around the globe, so…
We had been instructed by our knowledgeable friends that if we were to turn over a few stones we would be in luck. No word of a lie, a few stones later we had found our first Hochstetter’s.
I need not tell you how excited I was to visit some friends residing in one of the only places in the world where I could get to see the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian species, the Archey’s Frog.