Smooth Newt Lissotriton vulagaris Invades Australia

Australia is full of vermin brought in from Europe over the centuries by immigrants wanting to make this country feel like home. Pet shops and animal collectors are also responsible for some restricted creatures getting out and breeding in the wild.

Even seemingly harmless animals can become pests if their population rapidly increases. The smooth newt, Lissotriton vulagaris, was thought to be safely in collections. However, some have escaped and are becoming a pest in Victoria. Newts are not normally found in Australia. It is not known what the long term consequences will be.

It is not likely that they will spread to Queensland or the Northern Territory because they prefer cooler climates. They could become plentiful in southern Australia.

There is a worry that the newt will carry the chytrid fungus that is deadly to native frogs. Competition for food could cause Australian species to decline. It is necessary to find the extent of the invasion. Though it is unlikely that funding will be found for this.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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