What animals are up to this month… May 2019 edition
May marks the end of the breeding period for the Common Toad. However another native toad of the UK, the Natterjack Toad, may have recently emerged from it’s overwintering state anytime from March to early May (the latter in colder climes in Scotland). Natterjack toads may breed from April – July, but mid-May can be the peak time for this activity. Male calls are very loud and can be heard up to 2km away. Their spawn is similar to the strings of eggs laid by the Common Toad wrapped around vegetation. However Natterjack Toad spawn consists of rows of singles eggs, as opposed to the Common Toad double egg strings.
Our native newt species will be in their highest numbers in ponds around this time with peak breeding activity in April and May. Males require areas of open water in a pond to display and court females which may lead to fertilisation of eggs, after which females will begin laying eggs – individually wrapped in leaves with an adhesive substance offering protection from predation and sunlight. Females may lay and wrap hundreds of eggs depending on the species and will have some busy days ahead!
Remember to record your amphibian and reptile sightings on our Dragon Finder app available to download here.