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Toad Watch

posted 20 Mar 2012, 03:54 by Haley Whittall   [ updated 4 Apr 2012, 09:26 ]
A highlight of early spring is amphibian breeding activity as frogs, toads and newts return to ponds to spawn.  A group of Crowborough Conservation members were able to witness this event at the Country Park on the evening of March 13th, where we saw about 30 toads and a few frogs and palmate newts.  We were hoping to see the toads on migration to their birth pond from the surrounding woods, but the colder weather that evening seemed to have temporarily halted their movement.  We may be repeating the event when conditions improve.  Find out more about toads on our blog and watch their breeding activity in the short film below from a site in Groombridge.
In early spring Common toads emerge from hibernation and start to migrate to their pond in which they were spawned. The females usually get intercepted on their way to the pond by the males who hitch a ride on the females . Once in the water more males join in , in what is known as an 'Amplexus' embrace. This can last for days or weeks and the females are often in danger of being drowned under the weight of numerous males. The distinct 'chirping' of the males attracts even more toads anxious not to miss out on the spawning.

Toad Breeding Activity