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Mass mortality of great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) on ground treated with road salt
  1. J. P. Duff1,
  2. K. Colvile2,
  3. J. Foster3 and
  4. N. Dumphreys4
  1. Veterinary Laboratories Agency – Penrith, Calthwaite, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9RR e-mail:
  2. Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY
  3. Natural England, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire PE1 1XN
  4. Brampton Police Station, Longtown Road, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 1SJ

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THE great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species found in localised populations across much of lowland Britain (Inns 2009).

In late March 2010, multiple great crested newt carcases were found in a railway station car park in Cumbria: the incident was reported to the local police wildlife officer, who collected 65 newt carcases from the site. A further 10 carcases and one incoordinated and one moribund newt were collected from the same vicinity on further site visits over the next five days. The newts appeared to have died during their spring migration from nearby hibernation sites on their way to a large breeding pond behind the station. No clinically normal newts were seen, but other apparently healthy …

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