We continue to celebrate our 20th anniversary year with a new collector’s badge that is available for purchase at our booth at the Farmers’ Market. The badge can be ironed or sewn on clothing, hats, or back packs. Thank you to Carolyn Howse of Hawk & Rose Press here on Mayne Island for designing this beautiful anniversary item.
The rough-skinned newt, featured on the badge, is one of the most easily recognizable and common amphibians on Mayne Island. They breed in natural wetlands and man-made ponds and have an aquatic larval stage that requires water until at least August. Rough-skinned newts are generalists in that they eat a wide variety of prey including many insects, slugs, tadpoles, and amphibian eggs, including those of their own species.
Rough-skinned newts contain the highest concentrations of the naturally occurring toxin tetrodotoxin of any known organism on planet earth! This toxin provides the newt with an excellent defence from most predators. Toxicity levels are variable throughout the newt’s range and newts tested from Vancouver Island were not found to contain tetrodotoxin. The toxicity of rough-skinned newts on Mayne Island is not known at this time.