The smooth newt is the most common of the four Dutch newt species, ranging throughout almost the entire country, including the Dutch Wadden Sea islands (introductions, except Texel). Since the earliest records from the 1700s, the species has been considered common and widespread. Gaps in the distribution are only found in recently reclaimed areas, along the coast of the northern provinces.
Brackish waters are almost devoid of smooth newts, for instance in certain low-lying areas in the western half of the country and along the northern coast.
The smooth newt is listed on the Red List as not threatened. It has a low level of protection under Dutch legislation and is listed on the Bern Convention (Annex iii). The range of the smooth newt in the Netherlands has been more or less stable since 1950. Where there has been a decline, this will have been caused by reclamation of land, intensification of agricultural practices combined with desiccation and acidification of ponds and urban development. Special management for this species is not necessary. Recent pond creation schemes, hydrological restoration and agricultural land being transformed into nature have led to local and regional increases.
Hybridisation of the smooth newt with the palmate newt L. helveticus in nature has been reported twice (1996 and 2001) in the Netherlands. Neoteny has been reported from several locations.
Maanen, E. van