No newts in Louth or Tipperary according to survey

Smooth Newt by Andrew KellyThe Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has published the results of its National Newt Survey for 2012, and reveals that to-date no newts have been recorded from Counties Louth or Tipperary.

2012 was the third year of the survey, which is supported by Dublin Zoo, Fota Wildlife Park and The Heritage Council and the IWT is Gradually building a comprehensive picture of  the smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) in Ireland, including details of its distribution and preferred habitats.

The smooth newt is one of only three amphibian species  in Ireland, along with the common frog and natterjack toad, and is considered a native species. According to the IWT the newt has been historically under-recorded, so for 2012 they focused efforts on counties where they’d received few or no previous records. Volunteers were trained  in newt survey techniques in Wexford, Mayo, Louth, Clare, Laois, Limerick, Kildare and Donegal. People from all over the country also submitted casual records, and these were incorporated into the survey results.

Adding the data for 2012 to records for the previous two years the IWT reveals that newts are widespread across Ireland, but says there are still significant gaps.

Newt distribution Ireland“Can it be that there are really no newts in Louth or Tipperary?” asks IWT Campaigns Officer Pádraic Fogarty. “There are also large areas in counties like Kerry, Mayo and Donegal where we have no confirmation of newt presence. Because the newt has historically been under-recorded it is likely that we still don’t have the full picture. We still have lots to do and are calling on people across Ireland to send us their newt sightings.”

More than half of the records submitted to the IWT cam from garden ponds… highlighting how important these artificial mini-wetlands are to this enigmatic amphibian. Other surprises included Ireland’s first ever alpine newt in Co. Galway — a species more at home on the continent, and likely to be a discarded or escaped pet, and a possible record of the  Rana virus, otherwise known as ‘red-leg disease, from County Kildare — a disease that has decimated amphibian populations elsewhere in the world.

The IWT will be continuing its national newt survey in 2013, and will announcing more details of the survey and training days soon via its website and Facebook page.

For more information on the IWT’s newt survey click on the link or contact

Photo Credit: © All Rights Reserved Andrew Kelly Photography — used with permission as per IWT Press Release

About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success


  1. Gerry Cullen says:

    When I worked in security I was based in MSD on the Clonmel road. Five years ago the reed beds at the back of the plant contained hundreds of breeding pairs of frogs along with several breeding pairs of Newts, I would be supprised if this situtation has changed

  2. Mizzy Wonder says:

    I just found one… In Louth…

  3. Mark Doyle says:

    Hi was out the countryside yesterday and saw a nice drain n said i reckon this would be a good spot to see a Newt as plants were growin etc water crystal clear i came back last night and counted 16 nearly a 50 , 50 split male female hadnt a red lens so just gave it a quick once over and plenty of frogs mating nice to see wont tell people where they are my secret leave them in peace

  4. Recently went on a field trip to Xerox Dundalk, their environmental officer told us that had been newts breeding in their on site pond/rainwater storage… couldn’t confirm as I did not see any, but might be worth looking into.

  5. I saw three of them in Roscommon yesterday took a few pictures of them

  6. Peter Phillips says:

    Just found a newt in my garden near Ardee, County Louth this evening on my porch. I put it back in the log pile among the trees. I took a photo.


  1. […] notable record, since the Irish Wildlife Trust’s National Newt Survey had received no newt records from Tipperary up to and including 2012. […]

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