Bringing Back Our Lost Frog

by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Bringing Back Our Lost Frog

Total raised £70

 
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£653,000 target 310 days left
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Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 31st March 2025 at 12:00pm

To secure the future of our rarest amphibian, the northern pool frog, we need a breeding centre to raise frogs for release to the wild.

by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Our overall aim

We aim to secure the future of the northern pool frog, a recently reintroduced species and Britain's rarest amphibian, regarded as Critically Endangered. We will do this by building on and scaling up reintroduction work.  We have introduced the frogs to two sites but we need additional populations to ensure the species can thrive in the long term. While the numbers of frogs in the wild are limited we need a breeding centre to generate ‘founding stock’ for additional populations and to provide an insurance population for the wild populations.

A frog with a backstory

The history of the northern pool frog in England is intriguing.  It was often assumed to be an exotic introduction, but then research showed it was in fact a rare native species. Sadly though it was extinct by the 1990s.  Thankfully we have now brought it back, via an innovative project that transferred pool frogs from Sweden to Norfolk – and we now need to secure its future. To do this we need more frogs at more locations.  We plan to do this by breeding frogs in captivity to generate stock for release to establish additional populations.

What we need to do

We are seeking funds to build and operate a breeding centre for the northern pool frog. Frogs bred in captivity will be used to continue releases to the existing wild populations as required, and importantly to establish at least another three additional populations. Species reintroduction is an involved process so we need to fund staff not only to care for captive frogs but also to organise the release locations, obtain regulatory approval, secure interest from landowners, and monitor the frog populations.

Our experience to date has revealed gaps in our understanding of the species’ ecology. We are seeking match funds for a project in conjunction with a research partner to address these knowledge gaps.

Legacy

A captive breeding centre will keep producing frogs indefinitely, creating the potential to establish further wild populations as opportunities emerge.  It will also be able to supply zoos with frogs for educational exhibits and it will provide an ‘insurance’ population, to fall back on in the event of the loss of any newly-established wild populations.

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Our project will create meaningful partnerships with landowners, so that their land can continue to support this incredibly rare frog well into the future. The learning from our project will generate evidence and practical experience that will benefit future efforts to help this frog, as well as acting as a model for other species being restored through reintroduction. 

This project will also leave a legacy for other wildlife and landscapes. Ponds created for northern pool frogs are effectively ‘high quality’ wildlife ponds suitable for an array of plants and animals, such as the rare great silver water beetle, kingfisher and otter.

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC)

We are an environmental charity dedicated to the conservation of Britain’s frogs, toads, newts, lizards, snakes and turtles. Our mission is to safeguard healthy populations of amphibians and reptiles and the habitats on which they depend, and to enthuse and involve more people in their conservation.

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