Natterjack Toad

©Philip Precey

Natterjack toad

Scientific name: Epidalea calamita
The rare natterjack toad is found at just a few coastal locations in England and Scotland, where it prefers shallow pools on sand dunes, heaths and marshes.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 6-8cm
Weight: 4-19g
Average lifespan: 10-15 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Listed as a European Protected Species under Annex IV of the European Habitats Directive.

When to see

March to September

About

Smaller than the common toad, the natterjack toad is very rare. This amphibian breeds in warm, shallow pools on sand dunes and sandy heaths in just a handful of special places in England and Scotland; sadly, just one or two colonies now remain in south east England and east anglia. Natterjack toads are mainly nocturnal; in the spring, the males all sing together at night to attract females and their calls can be heard up to a mile away!

How to identify

The natterjack toad is more olive-green in colour than the common toad, and has a distinguishing yellow stripe running down its back. It tends to run instead of walking or hopping, giving it the name the 'Running toad'. It lays its spawn in long strings, with just one row of eggs per string.

Distribution

A rare toad, only found at a handful of sites in south east England, north west England, east anglia, north Wales and parts of Scotland.

Did you know?

Natterjack toads lay their spawn in 1-2m strings in temporary, shallow ponds, warmed by the sun. One clutch can contain up to 7,500 eggs! It takes just six to eight weeks for young natterjack toadlets to develop from the spawn.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers, landowners and planners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.