A frog/toad habitat is threatened, what can be done?
Frogs and toads have little legal protection, though toads, as a Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, should be protected from adverse affects of development.
All of the UK’s rare amphibians and reptiles (Natterjack Toad, Pool Frog, Smooth Snakes and Sand Lizard), as well as Great Crested Newts, are protected by law from intentional killing and injury; their habitats (ponds and terrestrial habitats) are also protected. Unfortunately the other widespread, more common species, are only protected against trade/sale.
In 2007, the UK Biodiversity Action Partnership (UKBAP) listed the common toad as a species of conservation concern. In England this means that (under Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006) all public bodies must have regard for Common Toads (specifically under ‘biodiversity conservation’) when carrying our their functions. In Wales, Section 40(1) of the NERC Act 2006 places a new duty on every public authority, in exercising its functions, to ‘have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity’. The duty affects all public authorities and a wide range of public bodies, including fire, police, health and transport authorities.
In addition, Planning Policy Statement 9 (PPS9) states that planning authorities should ensure that species of principal importance, including the Common Toad, are protected from the adverse effects of development.
If you suspect any laws are being broken please contact your local Wildlife Crime Officer or a relevant advisory body. For support against potentially harmful planning applications try contacting your local Amphibian and Reptile Group.