ARC is delighted to announce the pool frog is to receive a major boost in East Anglia. The Government has confirmed that ARC has been awarded significant funding through the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to deliver conservation action for this iconic yet critically endangered animal.

Working with a range of partners, until March 2022,  ARC will consolidate the existing pool frog population through captive rearing of tadpoles, restore pool frog breeding ponds, train volunteers to survey for pool frogs, undertake specialist monitoring, bring pool frogs to a wider audience through commissioned videos, and plan future pool frog reintroductions.

The pool frog Pelophylax lessonae is assessed as critically endangered in England. The rare species went extinct in Britain in the mid-1990s, following the deterioration of its habitat in the Fenland and Breckland areas of East Anglia. The species has now been reintroduced to two sites in Norfolk, with the original frogs being imported from Sweden. This is all thanks to carefully planned innovative conservation action by ARC and partners, including Natural England, Forestry England and Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and with support from funders including Anglian Water, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Anglian Water Flourishing Environment Fund managed by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation and Amphibian Ark.

"Covid-19 restrictions caused a significant reduction in monitoring, habitat management and captive rearing activity in 2020, at a critical time in the reintroduction programme. We urgently need to bolster pool frog populations to increase their resilience, and encourage the colonisation of adjacent areas where feasible." Said ARC Conservation Director, Jim Foster.

The “Recovering the pool frog, England’s rarest amphibian” project will see ARC employ specialist staff and work with partners to take the next leap forward for pool frogs. We will be communicating the results of the project from spring 2021.

ARC would like to thank Defra and National Lottery Heritage Fund for this fantastic opportunity.

For more information visit our pool frog species information page.