Essay On Amphibian Species

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Britain is home to seven native amphibian species. Three newt species: great crested newt (Triturus cristatus), smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus), two frog species: common frog (Rana temporaria), northern pool frog (Pelophylax lessonae) and two toad species: common toad (Bufo bufo) and natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita). The northern pool frog is only found at reintroduction sites in England whilst the others are found in England, Scotland and Wales (Baker, et al. 2011).
All of the UK amphibian species are globally listed as least concern on the IUCN red list but have seen declines within the country (Buckley & Beebee, 2004). Of the species in the UK, the natterjack toad, common toad, and great
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As well as habitat loss, UK amphibian species suffer from disease and invasive species. Chytrid has been documented in all seven UK species however the impact of this pathogen is currently not understood (Cunningham & Minting, 2008). The Italian crested newt (Triturus carnifex) and marbled newt (Triturus marmoratus) are considered to be of medium concern whilst the alpine newt (Icthyosaura alpestris) is considered to be of high concern, all due to the risk of competition, hybridization and disease, especially chytrid in alpine newts (Fisher & Garner, 2011).
In the UK there are three amphibian species listed as European Protected Species under schedule 2 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010); the great crested newt, the natterjack toad and the northern pool frog. Under these regulations it is an offence to: kill, disturb, capture, possess, injure of trade individuals (at any life stage), or to damage or destroy the places they use for breeding (JNCC, 2010).
Great crested newts are also covered by Annex II of the Habitats directive. This gives member states of the European Union the ability to designate suitable habitat as Special Areas of Concern (SAC). Under this same act, member states also have the ability to designate sites as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), these tend to be habitats with either exceptional numbers of great crested newts or a large variety of more prevalent species

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