Ali North is a PhD student at University of Plymouth and the Institute of Zoology (ZSL), working in partnership with ARC. Her project is investigating the impact of non-native urodeles (newts and salamanders) on native amphibians in the UK, with a focus on alpine newts.

The project: Alien species and disease are listed as the highest-ranking causes of extinction for amphibians worldwide but many introduced species do not become invasive. An understanding of the impacts of those that become established is important for categorising invasiveness and for informing conservation decision making. Several non-native urodeles have been recorded in the UK but alpine newts appear to be widespread with well-established populations.  Our understanding of this species as an invader and the impacts they may be having is still in its infancy.

Can you help? We would like to update our current dataset for alpine newt distribution across the UK. An understanding of their distribution will enable us to look at how climate, ecological factors and human activities influence their distribution. It will also help us compare patterns between the UK and the native range of the alpine newt. If you’ve identified an alpine newt in your local patch that may not yet have made its way through to national databases, it would be brilliant to hear from you. Please get in touch by emailing Ali directly at [email protected]

Photographs by Rich Billington.