Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Frog on the Tyne?

News that the frog with a 'northern accent' is to get special UK protection (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/08/18/eafrog118.xml) is interesting. The Pool frog (Pelophylax lessonae) existed in recent times in the UK in 2 East Anglian sites (http://www.herpconstrust.org.uk/animals/pool_frog.htm) but was driven to extinction there in 1995 (a captive frog lasted until 1999) but is part of the biota of Norway and Sweden. There were reports that other populations had been established in the UK and in August 2005 around 50 frogs (they unusually bask in the sun) and 100 tadpoles (they are quite large) from Sweden were 'reintroduced' in a Norfolk location. It is largely the progeny of these animals and their habitats that are receiving the enhanced protection. They are not exactly 'northern' at present and it is still debatable whether they are truly a UK species. Having said that, it is nice to have another frog species 'on board'.

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