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17th January 2019

Garden survey reveals sightings of frog and toad are drying up


Survey results released this week of more than 174,000 UK gardens reveal that sightings of frogs and toads have declined.
Disappearance of garden ponds and pools has long been a factor linked to the declining numbers.

The RSPB is challenging families to take part in the Wild Challenge by getting outside and creating a simple pond or DIY pool in their outdoor space.

Results from 4,277 Suffolk gardens showing the county’s most seen non-bird garden visitors included in Editor’s notes.
Survey results released today reveal that sightings of our garden amphibians are drying up, with the RSPB calling on people to help them by getting outside this summer to create more ponds and pools in their outdoor space.

Results from the RSPB’s wildlife survey, which is part of the Big Garden Birdwatch, show that frogs had been seen in more than three-quarters of gardens across the UK. Despite being the most common non-bird garden visitor, seen at least monthly in close to 40% of gardens, this was 17% fewer regular sightings than the last time they were surveyed in 2014 when they were observed monthly in around 46% of gardens.

This pattern was similar for toads who were seen in 20% of our outdoor spaces on a monthly basis, an alarming 30% fewer gardens than the 28 % of gardens in 2014. The survey included results from more than 174,000 UK gardens.

At a quick glance a nature novice may not be able to spot the difference between a frog and a toad. Frog’s hop, their skin is smooth and moist and they have a pointed nose, whilst a toad’s crawls, their skin is warty and dry and their noses are rounded – almost semi-circular in shape.

Dr Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said: “Most people remember seeing tadpoles at the local pond or a toad emerging from under a rock while they were growing up – these first experiences with nature stay with us forever. Unfortunately, the sights and sounds of wildlife that were once common to us are sadly becoming more mysterious.

“There are lots of simple things we can all do in our outdoor spaces to make them perfect for wildlife. Frogs and toads are amphibious creatures meaning that they need a source of water close to their homes to survive. Creating a small pond in your garden, or a pool using a washing up bowl is so simple to do and could make all the difference.”

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