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The identification of models to improve decision-making processes relating to the impact of developments on Great Crested Newts. - WC1108

The aim of this project was to develop, test and compare models to improve decision-making relating to the impact of developments on Great Crested Newts (GCN). GCN are listed in Annexes II and IV of the EC Habitats Directive and Appendix II of the Bern Convention and Schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010GCN are also listed as a Priority Species under S 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act and Defra has made commitments to enhance the status of species in Biodiversity 2020. In the UK’s Article 17 report to the European Commission the species conservation status was deemed to be inadequate and habitat trends were unknown.

There is currently a paucity of robust models that can be employed by end-users to predict the occurrence and distribution of GCN, a European Protected Species. The purpose of this work is to help to more effectively conserve GCN, while also improving the efficiency of planning and licensing decisions thereby offering potential benefits to developers, local planners and conservationists. The study was requested by the GCN Task Force.
Aim: To develop and test the models for predicting the distribution and frequency of occurrence of ponds occupied by great crested newt.

This project set out to evaluate new potential approaches to these issues using three work packages:
I. Develop, test and compare species distribution models for great crested newts; which included development of proposed favourable reference values (FRVs) for assigning Favourable Conservation Status;
ii. Building on these models, develop a methodology for assessing the impact of a development plan or project on the local conservation status of great crested newts; and
iii. Through end-user testing, assess model applications and fitness for purpose.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Project WC1108 Non-technical summary report   (3688k)
• ANX - Annex : Appendix 1 - Develop test and compare SDMs   (11272k)
• ANX - Annex : Appendix 2 - Develop methodology for assessing impact   (697k)
• ANX - Annex : Appendix 3 - Applications and case studies   (3578k)
• ANX - Annex : Appendix 4 - End-user testing   (176k)
• OTH - Other : Glossary of terms and references   (50k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £156,882
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University of Kent
Wildlife Management