This study examines the structure and composition of landscapes surrounding ponds with and without great crested newts (Triturus cristatus) — a species that needs an aquatic and a terrestrial environment. We related presence and absence data to 31 local and landscape variables, in a total of 143 areas in south-central Sweden. Land-use variables were measured within the radii of 100 m (local scale) and 500 m (landscape scale) surrounding the ponds. To find drivers of the distribution of great crested newts we used a principal component analysis (PCA) and a logistic regression analysis. Higher amounts of deciduous forest and pasture, together with proximity to deciduous forest seem to be positive for presence of great crested newts. Coniferous forest and mire appear to have a negative effect on the habitat quality for the species. We argue that management of the great crested newt should to a greater extent include the terrestrial habitat. Special attention should also be given to identifying and securing older, deciduous-rich forest in the vicinity of breeding ponds.
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