Ponds and lakes are a great environment to find unusual animals and wildlife that we don’t see everyday.
Here is a picture of a newt found in a pond in a local garden. There are three native types of newt in the UK – the Smooth Newt, the Palmate Newt and the Great Crested Newt. The latter grows the biggest and can reach up to 18cm in length. Newts continue to grow all through their life, so the oldest ones are usually the largest. They can live up to 15 years. Females are bigger than males.
Newts are predators. They eat tadpoles, earthworms and insects. In the right environment, garden ponds can be an excellent breeding ground for colonies of newts.
Another unusual visitor to a local pond is this terrapin. Unfortunately, terrapins are often abandoned in UK ponds. But whilst terrapins can look nice, conservationists are concerned as small turtles and terrapins are being dumped. They are often brought when they are small, but owners are unable to cope with the larger mature carnivorous adults. Terrapins and turtles are not native to the UK, but are now taking up residence in many of the UK’s waterways, ponds, lakes and boating lakes.
They will eat young water fowl, newts, fish, toads, tadpoles, frogspawn and even small ducklings. Just two or three can strip a pond of wildlife.
Turtles can be quite aggressive, particularly the common snapping turtle who has a vicious bite. In 2010, one rounded up in South London was suspected of attacking several dogs and a Canadian goose.
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