Alpine Newt (Non-native)

Mesotriton alpestris

This newt is native to continental Europe and was first recorded in the UK (probably after escaping the garden pond) in the 1920s. It is not that widespread but has become more common in gardens and parks (although it also likes and shares the same types of habitats as do our native newts) and can sometimes be locally abundant.  It is known to be well established in the Canterbury area.

They are colourful newts, with blue/green marbled patterning, an orange spotless underside and a blue line and obvious spots along their flanks. In the breeding season males have a small neat crest of yellowy/white and black stripes.

This species is considered to be of a high concern as it is a known vector of the chytrid fungus Bactrachocytrium dendrobatidis which can cause the disease chytridiomycosis potentially causing seriously affects to some native amphibian species.

Referred to as non native, alien and sometimes exotic, these species are those which do not occur naturally in the UK and have been introduced, accidentally or deliberately, by man.  Many non native species are not able to survive or thrive in this new home and many non natives are of no threat to native biodiversity. However some can thrive and in some cases become ‘invasive’. In general these problem species may potentially carry new diseases which may affect our native wildlife or they may prey on native plants and animals and have an impact on native species abundance or habitat availability.

With reference to non native species in general, please remember not to release any pets or exotic species into the wild as although this has been done in the past, to do so now is illegal and can cause considerable harm to native habitats and wildlife.Be careful also about which plants you purchase or discard from your garden pond. For more information on Invasive Non Natives visit the Non Native Species Secretariat website where you can find out more information about certain non native flora and fauna and read about national campaigns such as Stop the Spread.

We can all play our part in protecting Kent’s herpetofauna by sending in records of native species and also by helping us to monitor the exotic species which are now calling Kent home.

Have you seen a Alpine Newt (Non-native) in Kent?

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Distribution in Kent

Other / Similar Species