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Where do they come from?

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Common Toad
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Bufo bufo
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3731
Printed Date: 14 Nov 2019 at 7:26pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Where do they come from?
Posted By: Suzy
Subject: Where do they come from?
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 5:00pm
Just been gardening and peeled back some black plastic covering a pile of compost to get a bucketful when I spotted a small reddish toad about the size of an old 50p. We do have toads in the garden but I've always wondered where they come from and breed as there are no large ponds nearby. I live in a rural town, albeit near the edge, but it is still a long walk to any reasonable sized ponds and I understand toads don't breed in small garden ponds like mine. 

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Suz



Replies:
Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 5:30pm
I asked the same question when we put our garden pond in and as if by magic smooth newts appeared overnight. Like they had just been there all along waiting for a pond.

With smooth newts it's a little easier to argue that they had been surviving for a long time in small water bodies - but there really were no good sized ponds very nearby. This argument doesn't stand-up at all for toads.

I've also come across young toads on road side verges with nothing much but dry drainage ditches that might occasionally hold water.

It's led me to believe that young amphibians disperse widely into the countryside. Sometimes far from suitable breeding ponds. Many may never actually intercept a breeding pond in their entire life.

I found one study that supported this based on GCN. The adults and sub-adults would leave the pond and all move in a given direction back to suitable foraging/hibernation habitat. The efts though would simply disperse in all directions. A proportion finding the nearby suitable foraging/hibernation  habitat and presumably continuing the population, a very large proportion might be assumed to have kept wandering!

Certainly needs more research but I think the 'disperse widely in all direction theory' goes someway to account for us finding young toads in gardens far from suitable breeding ponds and the almost instantaneous appearance of newts that can occur. Though there are studies that also show that toads can 'home' back quite a long distance to their native breeding pond.


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 8:02pm
Thanks Gemma. It's interesting isn't it?

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Suz


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 8:48pm
Yep, I remind myself most days that we still know incredibly little regarding our native herps. I still regularly see new things and sometimes just wonder about it all. 



Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2011 at 12:02pm
Suzy its just great they can survive in urbanized districts keith

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   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2016 at 1:16pm
Found my first toad of the year this morning. I didn't have the camera, but it was a 50p sized toad under a Coroline cover. Alongside it was a last year's slow worm young. Nothing under the other covers.


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Suz


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2016 at 9:56pm
last autumn i found half a dozen babies that couldn't have been any more than a month or so old around the edge of my garden pond. there are no other pounds around and so it seems most likely that they were spawned in mine. but i saw no adults or spawn and it is a tiny garden pond. keeping an eye out this spring but nothing so far.


Posted By: Iowarth
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2016 at 11:14pm
My pond is probably larger than many garden ponds but at about 15ft long by 10ft wide (maximum dimensions, irregular shape) it's a lot, lot smaller than a typical toad pond. Nonetheless, we had toad spawn in it the first Spring after I built it. Some 25 years later I have to stroll around my garden on mild damp Spring evenings helping masses of toads through our close fitting gates coming to spawn. My best ever total account was around 50 a few years back.


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Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2016 at 11:31pm
Apart from my neighbour's pond, I don't think there are any more hereabouts that these toads could originate from. Occasionally I see a toad in one of my ponds but I've never seen spawn. I know it isn't easy to see, but you'd think I'd see the tadpoles if it hatched.
There are lots of toads in the garden though, even the compost heaps are popular, and the Coroline covers are summer hideouts.
I envy you your breeding toads Chris!


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Suz


Posted By: Robert V
Date Posted: 29 Jun 2016 at 6:01pm
Suze,

have you got any surface water gullies in your garden. I think a lot of these underground drains are home to our toads, frogs and newts but how they get out again is anyones guess

R

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RobV


Posted By: Iowarth
Date Posted: 06 Jul 2016 at 6:58pm
A freind of mine works for BT and while carrying out a survey lifted one of their hatches. Although there was no apparent access available, the first thing he saw was three Great Crested Newts staring at him. A later search with a license-holder found it was teeming with all three newt species. The assumption is that somewhere along this stretch of conduit there must have been a break of some sort allowing both water and newt ingress!(and yes, mitigation is in progress - in thsi case BT came up trumps). I would say underground drains and gullies as suggested by Rob are a piece of cake by comparison!

All the best
Chris


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Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 09 Jul 2016 at 10:48pm
Rob yes I have underground pipes in the front garden, however I don't tend to see toads in the front garden, but frogs go in the pipes. Mind you the pipes aren't easy to access (for man or toad) so not sure the pipes would be strongholds for frogs or toads.
As you might have read I had a GCN male in the pond earlier in the year. Whilst this was wonderful it was not a complete surprise, as I'd seen one under a plant tub a few years ago (and was the reason I put in a larger pond). I didn't understand that GCNs like really large ponds, so my large, but not huge, garden pond was a well intentioned mistake to attract them - which worked! What I'm trying to say is there seems to be a mystery to how some of these creatures arrive where they do and thrive.
I do think some of these mysteries would make good research topics.


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Suz


Posted By: Robert V
Date Posted: 13 Jul 2016 at 7:43pm
Well the technology is certainly available. I just received a CCTV drain survey (I was looking to at a subsidence problem to a house) and the cctv recording showed the cracked drain to be home to loads (and I mean loads) of false widow spiders!!

Now where there are spiders... etc

You could set above getting a drain survey Suze and seeing if the camera bumps into any of your herps.

Incidentally, has anyone heard this before. My brother originally contacted EN (its predecessors) years and years ago to tell them about his farm pond and GCN's.

They've been down many times since to check condition etc. this time however they told my brother that they had DNA'ed his ponds population.

But they then seemed to issue a thinly veiled threat and said that..."if any of the ponds population showed up as sold, it would be my brother who would be prosecuted"!!!!

Now pardon me. But had he not informed them in the first instance they would never have known (pond on private land) and should anyone have the intent to get at the pond (for whatever reason) my brother shouldn't have to erect six foot fences and razor wire to protect it.

How not to win friends - these organisations have no idea.

R

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RobV


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 14 Jul 2016 at 11:58pm
Rob re your brother's experience with EN, I had similar but on a much smaller scaler - one male GCN. I will abide by the rules, but they're not exactly encouraging!
Maybe I don't want to know what's in my drains if it is likely to be heaps of spiders Cry


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Suz



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