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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Decline and flounder of a Sussex common toad (Bufo bufo) population

Published source details

Beebee T. (2012) Decline and flounder of a Sussex common toad (Bufo bufo) population. Herpetological Bulletin, 121, 6-16


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Manage ditches Amphibian Conservation

A controlled, before-and-after study in 1999–2012 of seven ditches in pasture in Suffolk, UK (Beebee 2012) found that common toad Bufo bufo numbers increased after restoring ditch management. Numbers of adults counted three to seven years after management (after 3–4 years toad maturation) were significantly higher than in the subsequent five years once management ceased (563 vs 245). The year after ditch clearance, large numbers of tadpoles were seen and toadlets increased from 10s–100s to 1,000s in one of the dredged ditches. In comparison, highly vegetated unmanaged ditches supported few or no tadpoles through to metamorphosis. Ditch management including dredging was undertaken in five of seven ditches in 1999. Monitoring was undertaken three times in March by eggs counts, torchlight surveys, netting ditches and counting breeding adults.