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. The Herpetological Bulletin, 121, 6-16.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage ditches

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Manage ditches

    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.


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