Sea­son for choosy toads

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

As spring gets into full swing and the bird­song be­comes no­tice­able, one crea­ture which is hav­ing a hard time of it re­cently is the toad. Toads are quite a fussy crea­ture when it comes to choos­ing where to breed. You can come across them in a gar­den pond or even un­der the flower pots or in the flowerbeds, but they do tend to like large and es­tab­lished ponds, lakes and ditches. A toad has dirty brown bob­bly skin. Its pupils show a vertical line and they tend to crawl and do a weak hop com­pared to the ag­ile and slip­pery tex­tured frog. The fe­male toad is twice the size of the male. Toads are very choosy as to where they breed and tend to favour deep wa­ter and wa­ter which is clear of choked veg­e­ta­tion. The fe­male toad will lay up to 10ft or a cou­ple of me­tres of jelly like string of spawn, with as many as 7,000 eggs, which is en­tan­gled within the water­side plants. On the Rom­ney Marsh, the toads tend to breed in a se­lected few large ditches or sew­ers. How­ever, the pop­u­la­tion trend is down and places like Dun­geness, where in the sum­mer a decade ago, thou­sands of young toads (or toadlets) would be leav­ing the pits on warm damp evenings.

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