ARC's Pool Frog Recovery Project Manager, John Baker gives an update on what the team have been up to over the last few months.

Our Green Recovery Challenge Fund Pool Frog Recovery Project team has been busy over the last two months. An exciting development has been the release of a video which allows everyone a close look at the northern pool frog.  ARC is grateful to videographer Katie Garrett who filmed our frogs to bring these rare amphibians to the wider world.

videography by Katie Garrett, music composed by Rob Hicks and Tristan Noon

Even though northern pool frogs are currently hibernating, project staff have been busy identifying, assessing and visiting potential future reintroduction sites, meeting with landowners and managers. Northern pool frogs are fussy about their habitat so a guide to what they require has been produced to help future potential partners decide whether their sites might be right for the frogs.

Least bur-reed, found at Thompson Common, is another rare species that shares ponds with northern pool frogs by John Baker

Several ponds at the first reintroduction site are being restored. In practice this means that ponds that have become overgrown with vegetation are opened up, allowing in more sunlight. This will also benefit a range of other species, including all sorts of rare aquatic life that share ponds with pool frogs.

We have been reviewing the various head-starting (captive rearing and release) methods used for northern pool frogs over the years. Head-starting this year has been particularly successful, producing the greatest quantity, and highest quality, of tadpoles so far. Five hundred and forty-two tadpoles were released, exceeding our target by over 80%, with tadpoles growing up to 70mm long! We have recently enjoyed hosting an international workshop with experienced amphibian conservation experts from across Europe, to assess methods for increasing the numbers of northern pool frogs in the future.

After a successful pool frog season, project staff are moving on. In September, Emily Jordan, the Project Assistant, moved on to start a PhD studentship, and later this month Project Officer, Ben King, will be moving on to the Freshwater Biological Association to work with conservation of the freshwater pearl mussel.  Everyone at ARC wishes them the best in the next steps in their conservation careers.

ARC’s Pool Frog Recovery Project is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

Banner image: Female northern pool frog at the original reintroduction site by Katie Garrett