The Italian crested newt was first found in the Netherlands in 1999. It is restricted to the Veluwe area in the province of Gelderland. It is present in the triangle between the towns of Apeldoorn, Nunspeet and Epe. The core area seems to be west of the village of Vaassen.
The Italian crested newt is, as well as the northern crested newt, listed on the Habitats Directive. In the Netherlands the Italian crested newt is not protected by Dutch legislation as it is not an indigenous species. Five out of 44 ponds examined in 2005 harboured Italian crested newts. More than ten locations are currently known and locally the Italian crested newt is abundant and breeds successfully. The Italian crested newt is present in ponds where populations of the northern crested newt occur. Research is needed to find out if the presence of the Italian crested newt effects the northern crested newts in the Netherlands, e.g. by means of hybridisation or competition.
The Italian crested newts most probably originate from a garden and pond centre near Vaassen, where this species was sold in the 1970s and where specimens might have escaped. The area where Italian crested newts occur, has been somewhat neglected by herpetologists in the past. This might be the reason for the late discovery of the species. On the other hand, the Italian crested newt looks very similar to the northern crested newt, and earlier sightings of ‘northern crested newts’ in this region might in fact have been Italian crested newts.
- Creemers, R.C.M. & J.J.C.W. van Delft 2009. De amfibieën en reptielen van Nederland. Nederlandse Fauna 9. Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum Naturalis, KNNV Uitgeverij & European Invertebrate Survey-Nederland, Leiden.