Pond owners urged to leave frog spawn alone

Frog in pond, photo Becky Johnson.
Frog in pond, photo Becky Johnson.

NORTHUMBERLAND Wildlife Trust is advising people to become pond-aware this spring to help prevent a conservation catastrophe occurring in the region.

At this time of year when gardeners are tidying up their ponds, they often have a tendency to move frog spawn from their own ponds into other ponds in the area.

Movement of frog spawn can lead to severe contamination and pose a threat to the frogs, toads and newts living in the area.

Frogs in particular are at risk from two deadly diseases.

The first one – chytrid fungus – clogs their pores and, as they breathe through their skin, causes them to choke.

This fungus has already been responsible for amphibian extinction in various parts of the world.

The second deadly disease, which is commonly referred to as ‘red legs’, causes the skin to drop off their legs subjecting them to a very slow and painful death.

This condition is incurable and is worryingly on the increase in various parts of the UK.

Kevin O’Hara, conservation officer at Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “In a nutshell, our message is very simple; when it comes to excessive frog spawn, please leave it where it is as nature will sort it out.”