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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Amphibian colonisation of new ponds in an agricultural landscape

Published source details

Baker J.M.R. & Halliday T.R. (1999) Amphibian colonisation of new ponds in an agricultural landscape. Herpetological Journal, 9, 55-64


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Create ponds for amphibians Amphibian Conservation

A replicated, site comparison study of 78 constructed farm ponds in England, UK (Baker & Halliday 1999) found that amphibian colonization of constructed and existing ponds was similar, although species composition differed. Amphibians were found in 65% of constructed and 71% of existing ponds, or 26% and 39% respectively once ponds with frogspawn introductions had been removed (16 new; 3 existing). Numbers of species in each type were also similar (3–4). Common toad Bufo bufo was found significantly more frequently (40 vs 22%) and great crested newt Triturus cristatus (9 vs 20%) and smooth newt Triturus vulgaris (23 vs 39%) less frequently in constructed ponds. Common frogs Rana temporaria and toads were found significantly more frequently, smooth newts less and great crested newts were never found with fish. Constructed ponds were significantly larger (1,704 vs 409 m2) and had higher proportions of fish (54 vs 20%) and waterfowl (46 vs 14%) than existing ponds. Egg, torch and dip-netting surveys were undertaken at 78 new and 49 existing ponds over 3,000 km2. Habitat data were also collected.