Wednesday 18 September 2019

Rare toad found in garden following appeal

It follows reports of non native amphibians roaming Dublin

A common toad has been discovered in a garden in Stepaside following a public appeal.


Common toads are not native to Ireland but there have been a spate of unexplained sightings of the amphibians in South County Dublin in recent months.

As a result,  the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Herpetoligical Society of Ireland asked people to capture and report any toads found.


The Stepaside toad - named Trevor - is the first of the amphibians to be discovered and collected as part of the Toad in the Hole campaign.


As a consequence he is now  the 'poster toad' or mascot of the appeal.


Trevor is being looked after by Rob Gandola - Senior Science Officer with the  HSI.


According to Gandola Trevor was discovered "while out munching slugs after the rain in the foothills of the mountains".


"We are asking people in local communities, generally in Stepaside because that seems to be our ground zero, to keep an eye out for common toads by providing ways to distinguish from our native common frogs," he said on RTE's Morning Ireland programme.

“Trevor was the first one that has been collected and submitted to us as part of this campaign, so Trevor is now going to the face of the Toad in the Hole campaign, essentially the entire project does not work without the support from the local communities, so it's a really big deal that Trevor was found and he's made his way to us."


The HSI are asking members of the public who find toads to collect them and then alert the society. The HSI will study the toads before rehoming them.


They hope to determine the distribution and density of Dublin's toad population. This will enable them to further investigate the status and impact of this population on native amphibians and invertebrates.


Unfortunately, studying the creatures can be messy as scientists have to study their bowel movements.


"We have to wait for him to take a big poo," Mr Gandola said. "That's as simple as it is."

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