Halcyon Ecology
Mark Prina
 
 
Psalm 104:24 How many are your works, O, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
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Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus).
 
Survey methods (I am grateful to Colin Hayes for these):

•       Daytime observation of the pond surface (adults have to breathe)

•        Egg search (early in the season, when there is less aquatic material to target)

 •       Torching (clear-water ponds at night, for adults, egg folds and larvae)

•        Netting (damaging and unreliable; better in autumn for larvae)

•        Bottle trapping (evening set/morning collect; very dependable)

•        Searching natural or artificial refuges (logs, sheeting, loose soil or rubble)

Survey uses

•       Presence/absence:

- 4 visits, spread through the breeding season (mid-March to mid June), at least 2 between mid-April and mid-May

- one visit may be all that’s needed to confirm presence

- all four needed to demonstrate absence

•        Population size class assessment:

- 6 visits, spread as before, at least 3 between mid-April and mid-May

- peak count up to 10 = ‘small’

- peak count 11 to 100 = ‘medium’

- peak count more than 100 = ‘large’

 
Hedgerow Evaluation and Grading systems (HEGs)
 
This is a method for the rapid recording and ecological appraisal of hedgerows. The final ecological grading of an individual hedge extends from 1+ (very high value to 4- (very low value).