Natterjack toads are claimed to be Europe's noisiest amphibian, with the male call audible over several kilometres. Natterjacks are found in southwest and central Europe, but are rare in Britain. They can be found in southwest Ireland, pockets of Norfolk and Lincolnshire, along the coast between Lancashire and Dumfries and areas of Hampshire and Surrey where they've been introduced. Being poor swimmers, they drown in deep water if they can't get ashore. Short limbs mean they can't leap very far, and usually only do so as a startle response before going into their normal running gait.
Scientific name: Epidalea calamita
Presenter Iolo Williams visits talacre dunes to see rare natterjack toads.
Iolo Williams visits Talacre Dunes near the Dee Estuary at night to see the sand loving, natterjack toads. These days the toads are limited to one small site in North Wales. They became extinct in the 1960s due to coastal development but were re-introduced and are now thriving.
The following habitats are found across the Natterjack toad distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
The natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita, formerly Bufo calamita) is a toad native to sandy and heathland areas of Europe. Adults are 60–70 mm in length and are distinguished from common toads by a yellow line down the middle of the back. They have relatively short legs, and this gives them a distinctive gait, contrasting with the hopping movement of many other toad species.
Natterjacks have a very loud and distinctive mating call, amplified by the single vocal sac found under the chin of the male animal.