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Another bad winter for amphibians?

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Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 14:24 UK time, Monday, 17 January 2011

This photo paints a bleak and vivid picture about the state of our amphibians after December's big freeze.

dead frogs

Another bad winter for amphibians? Photo: Mike Apps

The picture, taken by Mike Apps from Hull on 11 January, shows about 60 dead common frogs fished out of one garden pond after four weeks of ice cover over Christmas.

Anecdotal reports received by Pond Conservation over the past few weeks suggest this winter's been a pretty grim time for our amphibians. Jeremy Biggs from the charity estimates that "tens or hundreds of thousands" of frogs have died in the UK.

Amphibian numbers are collapsing all over the world. They are the most threatened category of animal, so any more pressure on them can hardly be a good thing. Is there anything more we can do this winter?

Firstly, go to the experts: look at the Pond Conservation website for detailed advice on how to care for the wildlife in your ponds in cold weather.

Secondly, the charity is always on the look out for data to improve the advice they offer. So if you have a pond tell them about its condition this winter in their Big Pond Thaw Survey.


  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

    Ouch, that's a pretty grim photo too Paula.

  • Comment number 3.

    I wrote this poem after being upset at what happened in our garden this winter...


    In the cold winter night.

    Half light, I stumbled out,

    Crunching ice beneath my feet.

    Crisp air sucked in.

    White mist betrays my warm presence.

    Shivering hands hold minced morsels for

    The birds. Duty done.

    I brush my palms down my coat -

    And pause.

    I turn toward an upright open crate.

    Thick ice formed from bitter chill

    Crusted on to seal its contents.

    I gaze through the semi-transparent

    Casing. Consider the mirky watery world

    Encapsulated by the harsh winter turn,

    And, human error.

    Then shocked sharp sorrow.

    Suspended in the stalks, soil and stones

    Is a handsome, mottled frog.

    Frantically I fight the thick ice

    Over turning this lump of plastic which

    I have instantly come to hate.

    I am too late.

    He floats out on a wave of debris and water.

    I will him to live.

    But, his still form and milky eyes tell

    How his tiny world turned from haven into hell,

    Then...the double cruel turn of fate...


    I find his mate.

  • Comment number 4.

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