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Where do they come from?

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Suzy View Drop Down
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    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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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2011 at 8:02pm
Thanks Gemma. It's interesting isn't it?
Suz
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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. 

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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2011 at 12:02pm
Suzy its just great they can survive in urbanized districts keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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Suzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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!
Suz
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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post 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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