The northern crested newt (Triturus cristatus) is characterized by a black or brown colouration of the back, with dark spots and numerous white spots on the body flanks. The abdominal side is yellow or orange with black dots, and the throat is usually black with white dots. Large northern newts travel to the breeding sites between February and May, where they remain for up to several months.

Northern crested newt (Photo: Florian Bibelriether)


The northern crested newt can be found in coniferous, deciduous and mixed forests, their glades and edges, shrubs and meadows. They also inhabit flooded valleys with dense vegetation. During mating, they migrate to stagnant waters such as ponds, lakes, channels, and ditches, and rarely inhabit slow running waters.


The species is threatened by the rapid loss of suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The abundance of the northern crested newt in Europe is declining. Both adults and larvae are extremely sensitive to water quality. Northern crested newts do not inhabit aquatic habitats where fish are found since their larvae in comparison with other newts spend a longer time in water bodies and as a consequence, the likelihood of predation by fish is higher. Populations are at risk from the pollution of water bodies, drying up of stagnant waters, deforestation and urbanization.