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Have you seen this newt?

The Irish Wildlife Trust is asking the public to keep an eye out for one of our few native amphibian species at local ponds.

(Image: Andrew Kelly)

THE IRISH WILDLIFE Trust (IWT) is calling on all wildlife enthusiasts to help with its smooth newt survey for 2013. The organisation is asking people to check their local ponds for the little critters and report back.

The smooth newt is one of Ireland’s few native amphibian species and this survey aims to increase our knowledge of the distribution of the species, but also make Irish people more familiar with the ‘water dragon’. IWT said this is a great opportunity for people to “get involved in an important monitoring scheme and to get to learn about these fascinating animals and their ecology”.

This year the IWT will be focussng its efforts in counties where there currently are few or no records, including counties Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Meath, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Offaly and Kerry. Training days will be taking place in these counties during March or early April with dates and venues to be confirmed shortly.

If you would like to attend a training day, you must register and members of the trust can attend the workshop for free. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

The IWT said it also welcome records of newts from anywhere in Ireland so if you have seen a newt or know of a pond where they breed the trust would like to know.

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To register as a surveyor in one of the targeted counties or for more information contact Seán Meehan at or on 087 9207583, or the IWT website.

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