Froglife is a non-governmental, charitable
organisation concerned solely with the conservation of native amphibians and reptiles in
Established in 1989, we concentrate on promoting work to conserve some
of the more neglected, secretive animals including frogs, toads, newts, lizards and
snakes. Froglife is a small organisation run by volunteers and essential staff, with very
low overheads, so leaving maximum funds for conservation work.
Why amphibians and reptiles are under threat
The majority of our native amphibians and reptiles are
experiencing losses due to;
- Destruction and fragmentation of urban and countryside habitats
- Persecution and misguided management
- Disease and pollution
Surprisingly we know little of the scale of decline or the likelihood
of a long-term future for most of these species in the UK.
By working together with a range of voluntary and statutory
organisations, Froglife aims to reverse these declines.
Froglife runs a comprehensive enquiry service that now services
thousands of requests for information each year. As well as providing verbal advice we
send out fact sheets and pamphlets for little or no cost and provide technical support to
volunteers helping to conserve habitats and species.
The enquiry service is open from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.
The nature of enquiries varies through the year. In the Summer we deal with queries
about snakes in gardens (species identification, safety issues, habitat management to
discourage/encourage etc.) and reports of mass Frog Mortality which reach their peak in
During the Winter, most enquiries revolve around providing hibernation sites for frogs
and concerns over ponds freezing. The Spring months are probably our busiest period with
calls regarding Toad crossing patrols and questions about the spawning period (do we have
too much spawn/tadpoles?, spawn not hatching etc.)
Thoroughout the year, we get a constant flow of calls requesting literature (we have a
range of advice sheets and identification guides) as well as requests for advice on
habitat management, protection, wildlife law and translocation practices from councils,
ecologists, consultants etc.
The London Garden Pond Project
With over 90% of countryside ponds lost this century, the estimated
150 000 garden ponds in Greater London provide a vital refuge for our declining frogs,
toads and newts. Unfortunately many ponds and gardens are created in
ways that exclude these species.
The London Garden "Pond Doctor" is available to provide the necessary
specialist advice, free of charge, to wildlife-friendly Londoners wanting to
conserve amphibians and other wildlife on their doorstep. If you live in the London area,
call the enquiry line on 01986 873733 (Monday-Friday 09:00am 1:00pm; 2:00pm
5:00pm) to see if the Pond Doctor can visit your garden and help you to create a wildlife
Toads on Roads Campaign
Each spring, thousands of toads are killed on roads that pass between
their hibernation sites and breeding ponds. Many more become trapped in road drains.
Froglife co-ordinates this Campaign to help reduce toad mortality on roads. Toad crossing
points are registered on behalf of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the
Regions and road warning signs are installed during the breeding season. At many of the
sites local volunteers run toad patrols, helping toads cross safely from one side of the
road to the other.
Frog Mortality Project
Amphibian diseases are currently of worldwide concern. In the UK,
disease has hit our Common Frog causing terrible suffering and high death tolls in and
around garden ponds.
Our collation of thousands of reports of mass frog deaths from gardens
has shown that mortality peaks during summer in the South East of England. The Institute
of Zoology has identified that a virus is implicated. Froglife is working with the
Institute to discover more about the causes in the UK, what the consequences are and what
if anything can be done.
Great Crested Newt Conservation
The Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus is the most
rapidly declining and strictly protected amphibian in Britain. However, it is estimated
that only 15% of breeding ponds are known and that two out of every three
ponds lost could have been saved if their presence had been known prior to
As a Lead Partner for the National Biodiversity Action Plan for this
species, Froglife employs a Great Crested Newt Conservation Co-ordinator who supports,
promotes and reports on species protection across the UK.
Amphibian and Reptile Groups
Voluntary groups offer the opportunity for people to become
actively involved and for national priorities to be achieved locally.
Froglife helps to establish new groups dedicated to conserving
amphibians and reptiles. We provide set-up support, training courses, technical advice,
presentations and a newsletter. As the secretariat for the co-ordinating committee, the
Herpetofauna Groups of Britain and Ireland, Froglife organises an annual conference and
Froglife does not deal with:-
- animals requiring medical attention,
- pet frogs, lizards or snakes (husbandry, lost pets etc.)
- pond construction