Biggest ever RSPB survey reveals a sharp decline in frogs and toads

The common toad.

The common toad.

First published in News
Last updated

The common toad is no longer that common in Hampshire – and frogs are on the decline too.

The worrying findings are published today by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) as part of the biggest wildlife survey ever undertaken.

For the first time the Big Garden Birdwatch survey asked respondents to report back on garden wildlife other than birds.

The report reveals that only seven per cent of Hampshire residents see toads in their gardens regularly, while 12 per cent see frogs on a monthly basis.

That compares with national figures showing 28 per cent of residents see toads monthly, while almost half of the respondents across the UK see frogs once a month – more than three times as many as in Hampshire.

Experts say the destruction of natural habitats is to blame for the decline of toads and frogs, which are a vital part of the food chain and help keep waterways clean by eating algae.

John Buckley, amphibian conservation officer for the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, said: “The results are very concerning, and we’re especially worried about toads. New roads being built across Hampshire have destroyed some important toad habitats.”

Toads often need to cross roads to reach hibernation spots away from their home pond, which means cars are a serious threat.

Mr Buckley said: “There is so much traffic in Hampshire that they inevitably get squashed – roads and toads don’t mix.

“We hope the survey is repeated next year so we can see if the situation is getting better or worse.”

Southampton Common has recently brought in toad-friendly measures, including leaving parts of the common unmown so toads can live in the long grass.

The RSPB study also showed that grey squirrels are the most commonly seen garden animals in Hampshire, while red squirrels – under threat from a virus carried by their grey rivals – were spotted monthly by only 1.8 per cent of people.

Comments (3)

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10:49am Thu 17 Apr 14

Brite Spark says...

I used to see a large frog (i think it was a frog it was green) every few weeks in my garden. It hung around for 4 years, I don't have a pond in my garden by the way. It was always nice to see it reappear until one day when my grass had got pretty long I used my flymo and unfortunately not seeing the frog/toad (froad?) I ran it over and it was scattered to the winds. I was quite upset about it.
I used to see a large frog (i think it was a frog it was green) every few weeks in my garden. It hung around for 4 years, I don't have a pond in my garden by the way. It was always nice to see it reappear until one day when my grass had got pretty long I used my flymo and unfortunately not seeing the frog/toad (froad?) I ran it over and it was scattered to the winds. I was quite upset about it. Brite Spark
  • Score: 1

3:02pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Abkhazsoyuz says...

It's a good thing that Wayne Szalinski isn't your neighbour.
It's a good thing that Wayne Szalinski isn't your neighbour. Abkhazsoyuz
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Thu 17 Apr 14

forest hump says...

I think there are probably bigger issues to be concerned about than toads. And as for road building being a cause for decline!! absolute nonsense. We should ban all road building so the toads are happy! These "experts" really ought to do something that actually adds a bit of value to society. Get a real job.
I think there are probably bigger issues to be concerned about than toads. And as for road building being a cause for decline!! absolute nonsense. We should ban all road building so the toads are happy! These "experts" really ought to do something that actually adds a bit of value to society. Get a real job. forest hump
  • Score: -3

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