Ever wondered what’s living in your pond? Well here’s your chance to find out. National Museums NI’s Centre of Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) have organised a fun ‘What’s in Your Pond?’ event to encourage everyone to get outside and have a look in their ponds for frogs, newts and any other signs of amphibians like frogspawn.
Amphibians around the world are in decline with almost a third of known species threatened or already extinct due to habitat loss, disease, pollution and climate change. Whilst ideal for school projects and ecology students, CEDaR are asking anyone to get involved. Survey sheets can be downloaded from the website www.nmni.com/frogs so anyone, young and old, can report back on any sightings and send photos of waterside creatures.
Dave Tosh, CEDaR Surveillance Officer commented “In Northern Ireland we know that the number of ponds available for frogs and newts has declined. Yet, we don’t know what effect this is having on frog and newt populations. In addition, although they are considered common, we have little information to support this.
“So, by people getting outdoors and looking in ponds, they will help us understand if frogs and newts are as common as we think, and it will be the first step in understanding what is happening to their numbers over time.”
The project also encourages people to safely explore both rural and urban areas together, as David adds “You don’t need any special equipment and you don’t even need a pond to take part as frogs and newts can be found in ditches, at the edges of towpaths and even in long grass. We’d love as many people as possible to explore and tell us what you find.”
‘What’s in Your Pond?’ takes place between 5th and 17th March. Visit www.nmni.com/frogs to download a survey sheet and report what you see. You can also send pictures of what you find, and where you found it to:
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