What animals are up to this month… March 2019 Edition
Sightings of frogspawn will become more common in March across the UK, as rafts of spawn numbering up to 2000 eggs will be laid. These will develop over the coming weeks (dependent on local weather conditions) to hatch into tadpoles.
Avoid moving frogspawn as it can have adverse effects. You may inadvertently be transporting amphibian diseases to a new pond or be moving invasive, non-native plants that could take over (see our Just Add Water booklet for more info). There is also a chance that moving spawn to a pond already containing frogspawn could be too much, with the pond unable to support a larger population. Conversely, there may be a reason if a pond has no frogspawn – the pond may be unsuitable or have lots of frogspawn predators.
Great crested newts will be leaving their winter homes and starting to head back to ponds in March. They prefer ponds with no fish and, thus, ponds which dry out every few years can be favoured as these are very unlikely to support fish populations. Palmate newts and smooth newts will likely have emerged a little earlier and may be mating by March. This involves a courtship ‘dance’ by a male newt. Following this, female newts lay eggs which are wrapped individually in the leaves of pond plants. Either species of newt may lay up to 300 eggs in a single season.
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