Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre

The Big Spawn Count

Frogspawn WWT

Join in with the Big Spawn Count, run by Pond Conservation Trust and working with Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) and Amphibian and Reptile Groups of UK (ARGUK), to find out more about the breeding success of our common Frogs and Toads in garden ponds.

The Pond Conservation Trust says “Female frogs can produce several thousand eggs bound together in a clump of spawn. Since each female frog usually produces one clump of spawn, it is possible to estimate the numbers of breeding females from the number of spawn clumps. In this first year we are asking you to try out this new survey – which, as it develops, will also give us a crucial insight into the numbers of frogs breeding in garden ponds.”

Toad spawn, Simon Cope

“We are also keen to find out more about our Common Toad. Sadly, toads are not as common as they once were, and as a result they are now categorised as an ‘at risk’ Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species. Although generally toads are less associated with garden ponds and are famously ‘site faithful’ for bigger breeding ponds – there is some indication that perhaps the use of gardens is becoming more frequent due to loss of traditional breeding habitat. This is something we would like to find out more about.”

You can take part in the Big Spawn Count by going to your pond and counting the number of frog spawn clumps present. You need to note the final peak number of spawn clumps. Also look out for Toad spawn, Toads lay their eggs in a string of spawn which can be up to 2m in length, and usually after the Frogs have laid their eggs.

To take part and provide information about the Frogs and Toads breeding in your garden then join in with the online Big Spawn Survey. You can enter your findings directly online, and it should only take a few moments to fill in.

You can find out more on the Pond Conservation Trust website

Find out more about the Wiltshire Amphibian and Reptile group.

Read more about the Common Frog and Common Toad 


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