Habitat and Dangers to the Natterjack Toad

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Where does the Natterjack Toad live?

Natterjack toads live in Ireland in County Kerry and County Wexford.

Natterjacks toads like to live in sand dunes and freshwater pools close to the seaside. Natterjack toads do not like to live in pools that are salty, too deep, have steep sides and too many underwater plants or pools that are surrounded by forests.

Natterjack toads lay 'strings' of their 'spawn' or eggs in freshwater pools. The spawn grow into hundreds of tadpoles so the pools can get very crowded! When the tadpoles grow up into adult toads they will travel to a new pool where they will lay their own spawn that will become new tadpoles.

Dangers to the Natterjack Toad

The natterjack toad is very rare in Ireland. The behaviour of human beings is making it harder for the natterjack toad to survive and they are now in danger of becoming extinct.

The natterjack toad is in danger of extinction because of many problems which are the fault of people:

  • Global warming is causing the sea level to rise and places where natterjack toads live will be flooded. The sea is salty but natterjack toads can only lay their eggs in freshwater.
  • Global warming means that less rain will fall, freshwater pools will dry up faster and tadpoles will die before they grow into adult toads.
  • Natterjack toads like wet land but people are draining land so they can farm it or build houses.
  • Fertiliser can pollute freshwater and kill tadpoles.
  • Cattle drinking from freshwater pools can kill tadpoles and toads with their hooves.
  • People who camp or drive on sand dunes can unintentionally kill natterjack toads.