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Another toad found in Hackney

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: What is it?
Forum Description: Seen something in the wild and wondering what it is? This is the place to ask
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=320
Printed Date: 17 Feb 2020 at 1:25pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Another toad found in Hackney
Posted By: jwood
Subject: Another toad found in Hackney
Date Posted: 20 Jul 2003 at 11:27pm

After an exciting couple of weeks finding both Bombina orientalis and Hyla arborea in our pond, we have now found the following:

For more photos, see also, http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~jwo/frog/ - http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~jwo/frog/

It is about the size of a "normal" toad (~8cm long), but with rather unusual colourings. It has a pale sandy coloured, slightly warty underside, with a slightly darker top but with striking green mottles. The warts on the side of the body are more orange coloured. Eyes have horizontal elliptical pupils with a slightly green mottled iris. It moved by jumping rather than walking.

The identification key on the 'Whose tadpole' website would suggest this is the green toad Bufo viridis, but it does not match any of the photos I have seen very well. Perhaps it is just a common toad with unusual colourings?

Does anyone have any thoughts on what this might be?

Jo Wood, Hackney, London.




Replies:
Posted By: Wolfgang Wuster
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2003 at 10:05am
I agree with David ont his one - Bufo viridis.

They are indeed quite variable, perhaps depending onw here they come from. Specimens I have seen ind ry places (Israel, Morocco) tend to be paler and with smaller, less contrasting dark blotches than specimens from more mesic environments.

Cheers,

Wolfgang

-------------
Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/


Posted By: Matt Harris
Date Posted: 21 Jul 2003 at 10:33am
Try and find out who's releasing all these exotics and have a quiet word with them - they may not be aware that its illegal under the WCA1981.

Trying to breed them in a garden pond is counted as release in this context as it is virtually impossible to stop them escaping from the garden, and evidently, the owners have failed in this respect.

Incidentally, the law against release of exotics applies even if you caught the thing in the wild in the UK - if you let it go again, technically you are breaking the law. If you catch them, you need to keep them in captivity, or better still, don't catch it at all 'till you can find the owner.

We all like to se different types of herp in the "natural" state, but really if people want to see these things in the wild, they're better off going abroad.

One could argue that these handfuls of specimens are not doing any harm to native species in darkest Hackney, but the law is the law and it has to be applied, otherwise you're looking at the thin end of the wedge.


Posted By: Matt Harris
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 9:52am
....that is exactly why I suggested having "a quiet word", rather than contacting the local Police Wildlife Liaison Officer.

The object of my posting was to remind the finder (of these aliens) of the law ű if they didnĂt know it already ű so that if they found who had released them, they could mention that itĂs really not such a good idea. IĂll know better than to offer advice where itĂs not wanted in the future.

I find the phrases "acting the policeman" and "waving a big stick" to be patronising and offensive to me. I work with wildlife law on a daily basis, and am well trained in the tact and diplomacy needed to encourage people to comply with wildlife law through an appreciation of the value of wildlife in terms of the environment and of our own quality of life; I have never had to recite the law to someoneĂs face, and would probably get a B*****ing if I did.

Many people simply arenĂt aware that it's not on to release these things, but there are ways and means of putting the importance of protecting our native spp. in a positive light ű as IĂm sure you know.

On a related note, here was a posting recently, which I have to say rubbed me up the wrong way, where a colleague seemed very proud of the fact that he had recited the law to someone who had threatened to kill a snake <<"Well ... " I said stoney faced, "All these snakes are protected species, did you know that? And you could find yourself receiving a rather large fine if you deliberately harm them, did you know that?".>>

No offence but this made him sound like a smart-arse and he comes across as being quite arrogant in this reply ű I only hope it came across better in real-life.

There werenĂt any comments about his "acting the policeman" and "waving a big stick" after that posting. We none of us like to see animals harmed, but encouraging people to not chop up reptiles while out on a walk is just as difficult as encouraging them to not release non-native herps.


Posted By: Wolfgang Wuster
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 10:10am
Matt,

I may be wrong, but I don't think David was having a go at you personally, it was just a general comment.

As to the other individual you mention... it just depends on the situation and the people you are dealing with. Certainly, in some cases, a reminder that these animals are actually legally protected may well be useful to demonstrate that it's not just a matter of you being a tree-hugging crank, but that your view actually has legal backing. Those misguided souls who feel that they are doing everyone a favour by eradicating adders may find this a useful wake-up call.

Obviously, the "big stick" approach is unlikely to have much effect on joy-riding, glue-sniffing, heroin mainlining scum who just do it for kicks and are destined for a life in and out of jail anyway.

Cheers,

Wolfgang

-------------
Wolfgang W├╝ster

School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor

http://pages.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/


Posted By: administrator
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 10:25am

Matt,

Though I agree with your original post in principle, I can also see the sense and practicality in DavidĂs comments, born I am sure from experience. It is highly unlikely that Jo would be able to find the source of the animals, and frankly why should he, he came on the forum simply for advice about what species are in his garden.

As I act as the HGBI contact in the London area I will be contacting relevant people today to see if any further sightings of exotic amphibians have occurred in the area.

It is my own view that a likely explanation is that a collector has simply left the area leaving the animals behind and at large. In this case I can see no real threat to natives in the Hackney area at all, and why Jo should not continue to enjoy these unusual visitors in his garden. None of the species found are likely to form viable long-term populations in the area.

I would remind you Matt that the forum was designed for peaceful discussion, and though I fully except that people may have different opinions I will not tolerate personalised attacks on members.

I just hope that Jo hasn't been put off, and will keep us informed of these interesting events in Hackney.



Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 11:11am
Matt,

I had asked advice on these boards, and someone alot more experienced than I had reccomended "talking nicely".
That is exactly what I did. I agree, the written word can be quite cold at times , but it sounds to me like you get "rubbed up the wrong way" faaar to easy.
The subject was Ash Berus , and if you follow all the threads you will see posts where I ask advice on how to deal with careless dogwalkers in an area with gravid berus. I had mentioned putting up signs etc etc .
BTW , She hadn't threatened to kill a snake , she had laughingly told me how she allowed her terrier to kill grass snakes.

As for me being a smart ass... Nah nah nah nah nah
Hehe , just trying to lighten the mood.

Who's up for a huggy


Ahhhhh Big hug


Posted By: test2
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 11:16am
OK folks we are all entitled to our passions and views

But it is now time to calm down


Posted By: Matt Harris
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 11:59am
I accept the comments above,

<<Certainly, in some cases, a reminder that these animals are actually legally protected may well be useful to demonstrate that it's not just a matter of you being a tree-hugging crank, but that your view actually has legal backing.>>

ThatĂs the message I was trying to get across.

<<Obviously, the "big stick" approach is unlikely to have much effect on joy-riding, glue-sniffing, heroin mainlining scum who just do it for kicks and are destined for a life in and out of jail anyway.>>

So now we know the sort of people you mix with Wolfgang!!


<<None of the species found are likely to form viable long-term populations in the area.>>

But then again, neither are RETs or American Bullfrogs. An extreme analogy I know, but looking at it objectively I feel that the overall tone of some of the postings is that these aliens are ˘interesting÷ and to be ˘enjoyed÷, rather than of concern. On the one hand itĂs true that these guys arenĂt going to go rampaging around the streets of Hackney, destroying all herps in their path (are there any in Hackney?!), but on the other hand I wouldnĂt want a casual observer of this forum to get the impression that we are happy to tolerate such releases.


<<..it sounds to me like you get "rubbed up the wrong way" faaar to easy.>>

Yes I probably do, where wildlife is involved!


<<The subject was Ash Berus , and if you follow all the threads you will see posts where I ask advice on how to deal with careless dogwalkers in an area with gravid berus. I had mentioned putting up signs etc etc .>>

Would it be worthwhile your leading a walk for local ramblers etc to explain a bit about adder natural history, whilst discreetly introducing the concept that they are protected? Adder/reptile talks round our way are usually well attended, and one guy had over 100 people on one walk!

BTW, I find the term ˘protected species÷ is one that is generally understood by most people, but is sufficiently nebulous as to be a lot less threatening than ˘WCA 1981 schedule 5 etc etc.÷


Posted By: Alan Hyde
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 12:26pm
Hi Matt , No prob's with me my friend.

I'm the same , I get quite passionate and heated sometimes with regards to wildlife issues. I think this is why the chat turned a tadge official when the lady mockingly told me of her terrier killing grassies. Mind you , I still remained calm and polite , and spoke in a soft voice. I think it may have worked ,as i've seen her a few times since and she always smiles, says hello ,and asks if i've seen any snakes.

Anyway, peace

Alan

Right, now who's up for that 'bonding hug' hehehe


Posted By: test
Date Posted: 22 Jul 2003 at 1:22pm
Matt Harris wrote:


<<None of the species found are likely to form viable long-term populations in the area.>>

But then again, neither are RETs or American Bullfrogs. An extreme analogy I know, but looking at it objectively I feel that the overall tone of some of the postings is that these aliens are ˘interesting÷ and to be ˘enjoyed÷, rather than of concern. On the one hand itĂs true that these guys arenĂt going to go rampaging around the streets of Hackney, destroying all herps in their path (are there any in Hackney?!), but on the other hand I wouldnĂt want a casual observer of this forum to get the impression that we are happy to tolerate such releases.







Matt I have made enquiries today and contacted Jo with the advice I have received, suggesting the animals should be collected and a leaflet survey done of the surrounding area to determine the extent of the populations if any and am also prepared to organise the re-homing of any collected specimens.

It is entirely Jo's decision as to whether or not this is acceptable.


Posted By: Danial
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2003 at 5:43pm
Hello Jo

I was very interested to see your message, about exotic amphibians in Hackney. I live in Clapton, and am hoping to do a voluntary placement with the London, Essex & Herts Amphibian & Reptile Trust from September. I'd be interested in helping you with a local leaflet survey etc. Do you know if any people in your area keep exotic amphibians?. Maybe the previous owners of your home did.
Here is my email address:
danial.winchester@totalise.co.uk

Please get in touch if you need any help and advice.
Thanks
Danial Winchester



Posted By: jwood
Date Posted: 28 Jul 2003 at 9:01pm

Thanks to Gemma, the Bufo viridis and the two Bombina orientalis were collected and moved to a warmer and more self-contained environment on Thursday 24th. We got a couple of photos just before they were carted off:

That isn't the end of the story though. Precisely 2 days later, yet another Bombina orientalis has found our pond. Again a male, but this one with more green on its upper surface:

For more photos see http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~jwo/frog - http://www.soi.city.ac.uk/~jwo/frog

Gemma - I will be in touch again! Daniel, I will also be in touch with you about a local leaflet/survey. Thanks to you both for your offers of help.

Jo, Hackney.

 




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