In the last 100 years, the UK has lost 75% of its natterjack toad breeding sites. Of those remaining, 50% can be found in Cumbria making this county the UK’s stronghold for this charismatic little creature.
Natterjack toads are Britain’s loudest amphibian. The call of the males can be heard up to a km away! This raucous serenade attracts the females to the pools to breed. Due to the historical massive decline, ARC has been at the forefront of a concerted effort to maintain and expand the range of this endangered animal. Volunteers are a crucial element to this vital work. If you would like to learn more about natterjacks or how you could help, please get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you.
How to get involved
There are three aspects of Natterjacks conservation that you can get involved with – helping out on practical work parties, monitoring a Natterjacks breeding site over the spring and summer or learning more by attending a guided walk.
Work Parties – these take place over the winter months when the Natterjacks are safely in hibernation, so the work we do doesn’t disturb them.
Monitoring – when you are trying to conserve a species it is vital to know how they are faring. To achieve this for Natterjacks in Cumbria, every breeding site is visited weekly from early April, when the spawn is laid, until the last toadlets have left the pool. This could be as early as the end of June, or as late as the beginning of September.
If you live near the Cumbrian coast and would like to help out contact the project officer, Ruth Popely. Full training will be given.
Guided walks – in April and May every year a number of evening walks may be organised to coincide with the peak of the Natterjacks breeding season so the aim is to hear the wonderful male chorus and see the adults gathered around their breeding pools. Get your torches ready!
If you would like to get involved please get in touch!