kent reptile and amphibian group website
Kent Reptile & Amphibian Group Projects Getting Toads Out of a Hole
Getting Toads Out of a Hole

 

Although the common toad is now a priority Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species, KRAG have relatively few records of these remarkable animals in Kent.  We suspect that common toads are relatively widespread in Kent but are worried that they may be under threat from habitat loss, deaths on roads and climate change so we are asking everybody to let us know where toads have been seen.  For those of you that are especially keen, we also organise monitoring projects that run in the spring.

Dunorlan Park - Toad PondCommon Toad (c) Brett LewisBroomfield PondCommon Toad (c) Mike PhillipsDunorlan Park - Toad PondCommon Toad (c) Brett LewisBroomfield PondCommon Toad (c) Mike Phillips


Why Suvey for Toads and Other Amphibians?

Project Aims?

How Can I Get Involved?

When and Where Do I Look?

Submit Results

Download Project Documents

Launched in Spring 2009, Getting Toads out of a Hole aims to find out how many common toads there are in Kent.  KRAG are also very keen to find out about other amphibians that you find when looking for toads.

Why Survey for Toads and Other Amphibians?

A lot of attention has been given to other amphibian species in recent years as is exemplified by KRAG’s Great Crested Newt Monitoring Project. We now have a better understanding of where great crested newts are in the county, what their conservation status is and what the key sites are. However, this is not the case for common toads and it is also felt that common frogs are under-recorded as well. Common Toads have recently been made a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan which reflects the concern shared by many that the common toad might be under threat. Habitat loss, both ponds and terrestrial habitat, as well as deaths on roads during migration are both thought to contribute to the decline of the species.
Whilst this project will focus on the common toad KRAG are very keen to find out about other species of amphibian and grass snakes that you might see when you are doing survey work. The reason that we are asking you to record all amphibians that you see is because KRAG are interested in all herpetofauna that you see. Knowing about other species also helps KRAG to understand more about which amphibian species live in the same sorts of pond and can help us to identify Key Amphibian Sites in Kent.

Project Aims?

All of the information that is collected by this project will be added to KRAG’s database of herpetofauna. This not only allows us to analyse the information that you send but also means that we can share the data with other partner organisations such as conservation organisations, academic institutions and planning authorities. KRAG’s objectives for the project include:
    • Identify more toad breeding sites
    • Gain a better understanding of toad distribution in the county
    • Identify the most important toad sites
    • Develop a habitat suitability model for toads

    How Can I Get Involved?

      • Have you seen any toads or other amphibians in your garden pond or out on a walk?  If so we'd love to hear from you.  You can fill in our quick and easy record submission form. It doesn't even matter if you are not entirely sure when you saw the animal or even exactly what species it was. The more information we can collect the better.
      • Become one of KRAG's Getting Toads Out of a Hole surveyors. KRAG regularly run training courses for our volunteer recorders  For more details contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

        When and Where Do I Look?

        Amphibians are predominantly nocturnal so the best time to look for animals is after darkness falls.  Searches of ponds and their surrounds by torchlight can often reveal frogs, toads and newts.  However, you can still find evidence of amphibians and reptiles in ponds during the day  Frog spawn is easily visible during the day, usually in the shallower areas of the pond.  Toad spawn strings can be seen wrapped around vegetation and newt eggs are deposited individually wrapped in a leaf or other vegetation.  If you are lucky you might even see a grass snake hunting.

        The time of year that you look is also important.  Frogs and toads are explosive breeders and tend to only stay in ponds for a short period of time.  Mid to late February through to the beginning of April are the best time to see adults of these species.  Newts can be found in ponds for a longer period of the spring.  Great crested newts are often seen in water in mild Januarys and can linger in the water until late May and even early June.  However, the best time to look for newts is April and May.  Remember, you need a licence to survey specifically for great crested newts and if you inadvertently come across great crested newts and don't have a licence you should stop surveying the pond.

        For more information about identifying animals have a look at our amphibian species pages.

        Submit Results

        If you have seen any amphibians and would like to tell us about them then please complete this simple record submission form