A house builder spent £140,000 on a special new habitat for newts - then discovered there were only two on site.
The newts will have to be trapped and taken to their new home
Anwyl Construction, based in Rhyl, Denbighshire, was forced to create a habitat because great crested newts are protected under European law.
The company designed the habitat as part of a 26-property development at Nant Glas, Trefnant.
Company director Matt Anwyl joked: "We could have built them a three-bedroomed house instead".
Builders discovered evidence of the newts at an on-site pond.
They are triturus cristatus, which can grow to about 7in (17-18cm).
Nearly 200 local residents signed a petition in 2004 protesting against the development.
But the company obtained a Welsh Assembly Government development licence and work began on a suitable habitat.
The two newts cost the company about £70,000 each
When environmental specialists arrived to move the newts to their bespoke home, they could find only two.
Anwyl technical director Andy Davies said: "Because great crested newts are protected by European law we have to provide them with a new purpose-built habitat and that can take up to 18 months to develop.
"Then we have to trap them and transport them to their new homes."
The company has also had to spend £300,000 at Aberkinsey Parc in Rhyl.
There a much bigger colony of newts was discovered close to a site where 320 homes and a school are planned.