• Caring for amphibians

AMPHIBIANS

Always wear gloves when handling amphibians, for the following reasons:

1. Amphibians absorb everything through their skin; the oils, sweat and warmth from your hands will harm them.

2. Some amphibians, especially toads, excrete a very unpleasant fluid when they feel threatened.

If you are sure that the toad or frog is unharmed, the best thing to do is to find a safe place to release it. Ideally, away from roads, and somewhere that it can hide from predators.

Unfortunately, cats carry a lot of harmful bacteria in their mouths, so it is highly likely any wounds will become infected. Please, bring the toad or frog to the Wildlife Aid Foundation or to another rescue centre to be treated.

Please, gently release the toad or frog from the pond netting. To minimise possible injuries, you may need to cut the netting. Once free, check to see if there are any injuries. If it appears unharmed, please, release it in a safe place. If the toad or frog has injuries or you are unsure, please, bring it to the Wildlife Aid Foundation for treatment or take it to another rescue centre.

Conservation status – newts

Some newt populations in Europe have decreased because of pollution or destruction of their breeding sites and terrestrial habitats; countries such as the UK have taken steps to halt their declines. In the UK, newts are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the Habitat Regulations Act 1994. It is illegal to catch, possess or handle Great crested newts without a licence, and it is also illegal to cause them harm or death, or to disturb their habitat in any way. The IUCN Red List categorises the species as ‘lower risk’. Although the other UK species, the Smooth newt and Palmate newt are not listed, the sale of either species is prohibited under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

Useful contacts:

Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group: www.surrey-arg.org.uk (Contact by website only)