Triturus cristatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Triturus cristatus
Species Authority: (Laurenti, 1768)
Common Name(s):
English Great Crested Newt, Northern Crested Newt
Turanomolge mensbieri Nikolsky, 1918
Taxonomic Notes: Triturus cristatus formerly was considered to include four subspecies: T. cristatus cristatus; T. cristatus dobrogicus; T. cristatus karelinii; and T. cristatus carnifex. These are now recognized as separate species of the Triturus cristatus superspecies, and the specific name Triturus cristatus (sensu stricto) is attributed to the former nominative subspecies. The exact ranges of members of the Triturus cristatus superspecies are unclear in the central Balkans because of narrow or extensive areas of hybridization.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jan Willem Arntzen, Sergius Kuzmin, Robert Jehle, Trevor Beebee, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev, Mathieu Denoël, Per Nyström, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Some subpopulations are threatened.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed from the United Kingdom and northern France, through southern Scandinavia, and central Europe, enters a small part of the Balkans, to the southwestern part of West Siberia (Kurganskaya Province; records in Sverdlovskaya Province need verification). The presence of this species in southern Hungary requires verification and is not mapped here, as earlier records of T. cristatus are now believed to refer to other Triturus species (M. Puky pers. comm.). It has an altitudinal range from sea level to 1,750m asl. (Arnold, 2003).
Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; France; Germany; Hungary; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Moldova; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although the species is known to be declining or rare in parts of its distribution (e.g., Belgium, where only a few sites are known), it appears to remain relatively common in suitable habitats (although usually occurring in small numbers) over parts of its range.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found in coniferous, mixed and deciduous forests (composed of pine, birch, oak, alder etc.), their glades and edges, in forest steppe, bush lands, pastures, meadows, parks and gardens. Reproduction in permanent stagnant and in semi-flowing waters such as ponds, rarely lakes, flooded quarries, irrigation channels and ditches. The usage of small ponds is typical across the range. It can be found in modified habitat types, but this species is not considered to be very adaptable.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is sensitive to changes in water quality. Correspondingly, industrial pollution of water, destruction and drainage of ponds seem to be the most harmful factors for T. cristatus. The impact of natural factors such as ponds overgrowing, shallowing and eutrophication is harmful to urban populations and those near to the range margins. Introduced predatory fishes are leading to declines in some areas. In some parts of the range (of the former Soviet Union) there is substantial commercial collecting of this species for the pet trade. Habitat fragmentation is a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention, and there is an Action Plan. Listed on Annexes II and IV of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. Protected by national legislation in many countries; recorded on many national and sub-national Red Data books and lists. Present in many protected areas. The are local conservation programmes for the species in parts of its range (e.g.. Poland, Germany). In the UK there is a need for monitoring following mitigation work.

Bibliography [top]

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Citation: Jan Willem Arntzen, Sergius Kuzmin, Robert Jehle, Trevor Beebee, David Tarkhnishvili, Vladimir Ishchenko, Natalia Ananjeva, Nikolai Orlov, Boris Tuniyev, Mathieu Denoël, Per Nyström, Brandon Anthony, Benedikt Schmidt, Agnieszka Ogrodowczyk 2009. Triturus cristatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 September 2015.
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