9 April 2009

Easter egg search…

As an alternative to the seasonal celebrations, Froglife is recommending that people go searching for newt eggs this Easter Holiday weekend, and help conservation efforts that may save some amphibians from further declines.

“April is an excellent time to reach for the torch to search for newts while they are laying their eggs on pond plants.” said Lucy Benyon, Froglife's Wildlife Information Officer. “Many pond-owners don’t even realise they have newts in their gardens, so now is the best time to have a look while they’re in ponds egg-laying."

Unlike frogs and toads, newts lay their jelly-covered eggs one-by-one. Female newts quietly lay them on the leaves of submerged pond-plants, before curling the leaves over them for protection. Each female newt can lay over a hundred eggs in a season.

Froglife recommends that those with newts in their gardens take part in a national ‘stocktake’ of amphibians and reptiles, being undertaken by Froglife, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Herpetological Conservation Trust.

The results will contribute to knowledge of where frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards are found nationally and allow scientists a better insight to how important gardens are for their conservation.

The stock-take is open to all garden-owners, whether they have frogs, toads, newts, snakes or lizards (or none of these species - the information is still valuable). To get hold of your ‘Reptiles and Amphibians in Your Garden’ pack, visit: www.froglife.org/projects/garden_reptiles_amphibs.htm

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