Froglife Ecological Services have over six years of experience in the monitoring of mitigation tunnels for great crested newts and other amphibian species. We have developed a unique and highly effective system using high frequency infra-red cameras to monitor the use of tunnels by all UK’s native amphibian and reptile species. Our technique is able to detect all movements of amphibians through tunnels at low cost thanks to our specially adapted computer script that can extract all positive images. FES has carried out successful tunnel monitoring across the whole of the UK including Essex, Kent and Yorkshire as well as in France and Portugal. A recent publication by Froglife and collaborators can be found here.
Our highly effective data recording enables us to identify the species using tunnels, age class, sex (where possible), direction of travel and percentage tunnel crossing rate and rejection rate, which is important for mitigation and translocation projects. We are also able to generate graphs showing the direction of travel of amphibians through tunnels. Currently, FES are the only company in the UK able to offer such a range of scientific outputs thanks to our unique data recording and analysis.
For further information please contact FES Science and Research Manager at: email@example.com.
Tunnel data analysis
FES have many years of experience in analysing data collected in amphibian mitigation tunnels and producing high quality reports. We have worked with many clients from a range of councils and ecological consultants across the country analysing data collected from cameras in tunnels and demonstrating effective use by a range of UK amphibian and reptile species, including great crested newts. If you have data collected from tunnel monitoring that requires analysis contact FES Science and Research Manager for more information.
Great crested newt monitoring at Hampton Reserve
Since 2012, thanks to funding from Natural England, Froglife have been monitoring great crested newt populations on Hampton Nature Reserve, Peterborough. Using standard surveying techniques, Froglife have been monitoring the effectiveness of methods using occupancy modelling.
Toads on Roads
Froglife has managed the national Toads on Roads project for many years and in 2016 published research findings indicating a 68% decline in populations of the common toad across the UK over the past 30 years. The full research paper can be found here. This important research will enable Froglife to take further positive action to help conserve this species.
Juvenile toad dispersal
In 2019 we are carrying out a unique citizen science project with Toads on Roads volunteers to determine the direction of newly metamporphosed juvenile common toads as they disperse from ponds. Specifically, we aim to determine whether traffic collisions on roads causes high levels of mortality in these vulnerable juveniles, which often disperse in large numbers from ponds in early summer. The dispersal of this critical life stage is poorly understood and this research will eluicidate important findings which will help in developing conservation strategies for the common toad across the UK.
Amphibian diseases in the UK
Froglife has been involved in citizen science projects and research relating to amphibian diseases since the 1980s. This area of work has grown as the conservation community has become increasingly concerned about the threats faced, particularly by frogs, due to disease. Our work has included involvement in
research into ranaviruses including several projects with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the University of Exeter. We work with members of the public finding dead or diseased frogs in their gardens, offering advice and linking them in to wider research into disease. We are partners in the Garden Wildlife Health project with the ZSL, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Effects of lunar phase on migration in common toads
The phase of the moon is known to have impacts on a range of wildlife such as sychronising movements and breeding. Froglife are currently using data collected by Toads on Roads volunteers to determine whether the lunar phase impacts on breeding migrations of the common toad. Using data collected from multiple sites and successive years, this will be one of the first studies using such a large data set to examine the effects of the moon on the common toad. The findings may have implications for toad patrollers and aid in predicting the most effective time to patrol roads for migrating common toads.
Froglife are also developing collaborations with the international Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) and Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG). It is hoped this will lead to research and conservation projects with international partners.