Amphibians of the Welsh Harp

Based on the article “Reptiles and amphibians”, by Andrew Self, in Birds of Brent Reservoir

In an attempt to catalogue the reptiles and amphibians of Brent Reservoir a survey was carried out at the reservoir in 1995 (Atkins and Herbert). Using this information and the personal observations of  regular birders at Brent it is possible to give a brief list of the amphibian species that have been recorded and a summary of their status.

  1. Common Frog Rana temporaria
    Adult frogs are occasionally found in the waterside vegetation but their most obvious signs are the mass of frogspawn and later the tadpoles in ponds, especially the bomb crater pond on the North Bank.
  2. Marsh Frog Pelophylax ridibundus
    This alien species is known to have been released into the reservoir in the 1960s and was heard frequently in East Marsh until the reservoir was drained in 1974. Since then, the only records are of one calling daily beside the small hide in East Marsh in mid-May 1998 and one later heard alongside the North Bank of the main reservoir in July that year.
  3. Edible Frog Pelophylax esculenta
    An Edible Frog was heard calling in North Marsh on 24 May 2010.
  4. Common Toad Bufo buff
    This is a fairly common and widespread species, with eggs and tadpoles regularly seen in ponds adjacent to the main reservoir. There was some evidence of a decline since the 1950s when spawning took place in the reservoir until the mid 1980s. Since then Toads, aided by imported spawn, have increased in the ponds created in the 1980s and early 1990s. At least five pairs of mating Toads were seen in the Bomb Crater Pond on 16 April 2013.
  5. Smooth Newt Lissotriton vulgaris
    Although rarely observed, this species is believed to be fairly common around the reservoir.

References
Atkins W., Herbert C. (1995) Reptile Survey of the Brent Reservoir. London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group.
Self A. (2002) “Reptiles and Amphibians”, in Birds of Brent Reservoir: The Natural History of the Welsh Harp (eds L. Batten, R. Beddard, J. Colmans, A. Self). London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group.

© Welsh Harp Conservation Group 2017
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