What is a Natterjack Toad?

The Natterjack toad is a small toad with adults reaching 60 – 70mm in length. They have a distinctive yellow line down the middle of the back, and have a tendency to run rather than walk or hop.

Please contact us for more information or advice regarding Natterjack toads.

Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita formerly Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toads are found mainly in the Northwest of England with other colonies in East Anglia, Dorset, Hampshire, Surrey and Staffordshire. They prefer places with light sandy soils and warm shallow ponds, often close to the coast. Sand dunes, salt marshes and lowland heathland are preferred habitat types.

Its former latin name was Bufo calamita which means ‘running toad’. Natterjack toads get their common name from the loud call made by the male at night during the breeding season (April – July).

They prefer habitats with sandy soils because the ponds which naturally form there tend to be shallow, and shallow ponds have warmer water, which they need in order to breed. The tadpoles are small and black and quickly develop the distinctive yellow stripe down the dorsal line.
During warm weather adult toads shelter in burrows emerging at night to feed on moths, woodlice and other insects, they have also been known to eat sandhoppers and other marine invertebrates.
During the winter Natterjack toads hibernate in burrows which are usually dug by the toad although they have been known to use the burrows of other animals.

Under Threat

The Natterjack toad has never been widespread in the UK. The loss of many suitable heathland and sand dune habitats, and the drying up of ponds has contributed to their decline. They are now fully protected under UK and European legislation.

What is being done?

Most UK sites are now protected with some as nature reserves. The toads are the subject of a Biodiversity Species Action Plan. English Nature’s Species Recovery Program has focused on maintaining suitable ponds and also constructing new ones. Re-introduction programs have also been started in an effort to conserve the species.


Case Studies

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...