Langford warns of poisonous Rough-Skinned Newt sightings at Westhills Park

Langford warns of poisonous Rough-Skinned Newt sightings at Westhills Park
Province of B.C.
A Rough-Skinned Newt is pictured in this file photo.

The City of Langford is warning residents that a highly poisonous salamander has been spotted several times in the wetlands area of Westhills Park.

On March 6, the city said there had been sightings of Rough-Skinned Newts near the gazebo area of the park.

Rough-skinned newts are highly poisonous and can be lethal to humans and pets if ingested. They can also cause skin irritation if handled.

“The Rough-Skinned Newt is the most poisonous amphibian in the Pacific Northwest,” reads a Province of B.C. information page on the animal.

“It contains enough poison to kill 25,000 mice.”

The City of Langford recommends that families keep an eye on children and pets, and keep animals on a leash to prevent them from accidentally eating the newts.

Rough-skinned newts are generally dark brown or grey, with bright yellow or orange bellies.

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(Province of B.C.)

They can measure up to 22 centimetres long, from nose to tail, and in British Columbia they are only found along Coastal B.C., Vancouver Island and some Gulf Islands.

The native species tends to live in aquatic areas like ponds or lakes, but venture more on land in early spring for their breeding season.

Langford warns that Rough-Skinned Newts commonly gather in large numbers in February and April around wetlands.

“For some unknown reason, a high proportion of male newts on southern Vancouver Island remain aquatic year round, while the females are largely terrestrial as they are throughout the rest of their range,” reads the province’s information page.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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