New records of Natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita, Laurenti 1768) natural breeding sites in Ireland

Marina Reyne, Claire McFarlane, Ferdia Marnell, Sarah Helyar, Neil Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita) has a wide distribution throughout Europe, ranging from the Iberian Peninsula to the Baltic coast with several isolated populations in Great Britain and Ireland (Gasc et al., 1997). Despite its widespread distribution, the conservation status for this species has been assessed as ‘unfavourable’ throughout most European populations (European Topic Centre, 2012). In Ireland, the Natterjack toad is at the extreme western edge of its range and is regionally IUCN Red Listed as ‘Endangered’ (King et al., 2011). It is highly range restricted in Ireland confined to the south-west of the country in County Kerry and one small introduced population to the south-east of the country in County Wexford The latest conservation assessment suggests that the population is declining (Reyne et al., 2019) mostly likely due to the degradation of suitable breeding sites (Beebee 2002). Ireland lost over half its farmland ponds during the 20th century associated with agricultural intensification and large-scale land drainage schemes that destroyed amphibian breeding habitat (Reid et al., 2014). Natterjack toads are presently restricted to seven discreet sites representing metapopulations (named: Magherees, Inch, Rosscullen, Dooks, Yganavan, Glenbeigh and Caherdaniel) (Beebee 2002).
Original languageEnglish
JournalHerpetology Notes
Publication statusAccepted - 01 Apr 2020

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