The natterjack toad is one of Britain’s rarest amphibians. It is naturally restricted to three main habitat types, costal dune systems, upper saltmarsh and lowland heath.  Over the last century the natterjack toad has experienced a significant decline in population and range primarily as a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. 

ARC is in the final stages of producing an up to date Species Action Plan which will set out how we can increase the size and range of natterjack populations in the UK. In addition, monitoring and re-introduction plans are being reassessed in order to ensure ARC can work with land owners and managers in order to meet Favourable Conservation Status targets.

Key elements of conservation ARC is working on include:

  • Protecting and enhancing existing sites with a focus on increased population connectivity
  • Enabling the development of dynamic and robust meta-populations.
  • ARC is carrying out predictive modelling and mapping exercises in order to better understand how to strengthen populations. 

ARC and its partners have worked extensively on natterjack toad re-introduction projects since the 1970s. The wealth of knowledge gained over these years’ means that the success of translocations continues to improve, with 67% of translocations carried out between 1980 and 2009 generating self-sustaining natterjack colonies. North Wales in particular suffered a severe loss in breeding sites during the 20th century, until eventually all of the known breeding sites were considered extinct. Working with local land owners and site managers ARC has successfully re-introduced natterjack toads to four sites in North Wales since the 1990s. For further information please visit our Natterjacks in North Wales page. 

Monitoring is a major element of our work. This falls into two broad categories: habitat and species monitoring. ARC has supported the development of a large and enthusiastic network of natterjack toad recorders. Using standards in identification and survey methods, they carry out species monitoring work during the main breeding season (April to July). Habitat monitoring is also undertaken by a network of site managers and volunteers, with plans for site improvements being made and previous activity assessed on a yearly basis. Private land owners form a major part of the natterjack toad network. In Cumbria ARC has a dedicated member of staff working to encourage farmers to participate in agri-environment schemes. For more information about this work please visit our Natterjacks in Cumbria page.

Currently, ARC are proud to present 'Coastal Treasures of the Eastern Solway' as part of the Species on the Edge programme that focuses on Scotland's rarest amphibian, the natterjack toad. 

ARC would like to encourage anyone with a passion for conservation, living locally to a natterjack toad population to get involved with recording. For further information please register your interest or visit our targeted surveys for natterjack toads pages.