Earlier this month we caught up with Silviu from Frog Life to talk about amphibian conservation, habitats, and their Toads on the Road project. Check out the great interview below!
Our interview with Frog Life
1. Why should the public be concerned with the conservation of amphibians in the UK?
Worldwide, amphibians have been declining at an alarming rate, faster than other vertebrate groups such as mammals, bird or reptiles. In the UK there are few species compared to warmer climates but even so, the UK has very important populations at European level for some species such as great crested newts. Also, our recent data shows that once very abundant species such as the common toad have been affected by very serious declines in the past 30 years in the UK.
2. Where are you most likely to find amphibians in the UK in terms of habitat?
Typically in wet areas, such as near ponds, lakes, and streams but also in wildlife-friendly areas in busy urban environments such as allotments, gardens, and public parks.
3. How can we help conserve their habitats?
There are numerous opportunities to volunteer on various nature reserves and help manage and protect amphibian habitat. On the two reserves that Froglife manage in Peterborough we involve a team of very enthusiastic volunteers that help us deliver the management plan. However, we have plenty of resources for people that want to improve conditions in their back gardens. Have a look on http://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/just-add-water/
4. What should someone do if they find an amphibian or reptile that is unwell or hurt?
Froglife are at the forefront of investigating wildlife diseases in amphibians and reptiles and so, you should take some pictures and make a record of your sighting and send them to Froglife directly via email or, if the animal is diseased or dead and you suspect disease, take a few minutes and register the information on the Garden Wildlife Health website where Froglife are partners. Otherwise, if you find an animal which looks in pain you should try and call your local vet and see if they can advise you.
5. Can you explain the importance of your Toads on Roads project?
Toads on Roads has been in place for decades now and continues to achieve incredible things. Around 90,000 amphibians are moved every year across roads by volunteers in an effort to save them from car traffic. Also, this project provides immensely important long term data that can give us an indication of how populations in various regions and nationally are faring.
6. Froglife emphasises the importance of educating the public about our amphibian friends. How are you doing this and what is the best way someone can learn about this?
Education about the value and the importance of amphibians as parts of healthy ecosystems is crucially important in order to make people aware of the importance of this group of animals and hopefully getting them to engage directly in conservation efforts. The best way to learn is always practical, put in a wildlife garden pond, even if a small one, identify the animals in there and learn about them that way. Alternatively, visit our web page or social media and keep an eye for the numerous volunteering opportunities we provide around the country.
7. How can people get involved with Froglife?
Subscribe to our e-newsletter, follow us on Facebook and/Twitter and find out about our amazing (and free!) opportunities.