The amphibian population of the United Kingdom is in critical decline and faces long term survival challenges of almost overwhelming proportions. The main reasons for this fall being pollution, disease and habitat deprivation. Numerous experts agree that unless something significant is done we could see the loss of these amazing animals in our life-time.
When I think myself back to my childhood days I recollect many a fine day as a boy with my friends at the local ponds or the brook, endless summer daytimes catching frogs and newts and sticklebacks (we always let them go!). It was a terrific childhood.
A few years ago I traveled back to the region I grew up in, in that location is now a car park where those fantastic old pools were. The brook is fouled and looked stagnant and devoid of life. These days in our over-developed urban areas such habitats are getting rarer and rarer.
The total number of habitats wasted to development has been catastrophic and irreversible. Many sites have been preserved from development by the presence of great-crested newts or natterjack toads, the rarest of our native species.
Manchester Airport was in the news lately, after work was very delayed on its third runway to rescue a great-crested newt settlement and relocate all the individuals, at a substantial cost.
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