How this once extinct amphibian was reintroduced to East Anglia


Originally there was much debate over the status of this species in the UK, but it has since been declared native. Intensive research confirmed that a 'northern' type of pool frog that was found in Sweden and Norway was also formerly found in Britain. Unfortunately, pool frogs were presumed extinct in the wild by 1995.

In the mid-2000s a decision was taken to attempt reintroduction, in line with the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and the Habitats Directive. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation helped to write a detailed reintroduction strategy (download for free here), which was then implemented with help from a range of partners including Anglian Water, Natural England, Forestry Commission, universities and volunteers.

Adults, juveniles, tadpoles and spawn were collected from Sweden from 2005 to 2008, after gaining permissions from the Swedish authorities. They were screened for health condition, before being brought to the UK and released on a Norfolk nature reserve.

Initial indications are encouraging in that the frogs are breeding and surviving well. As of 2015 we estimate there is a population of around 60 adults on site.

In 2015, pool frogs were released at a second site in Norfolk, Thompson Common. This was the last known place in Britain were pool frogs occurred before going extinct. For this release, pool frogs were transferred from the first Norfolk reintroduction site. You can read more about the project in our leaflet 'Re-introducing the northern pool frog to NWT Thompson Common, Norfolk'.