Thursday, 16 May 2013

Marsh Frog

The Marsh frog is one of three, what we call "green frogs", that you can find in the UK, the other two being the native pool frog and the introduced edible frog.

The marsh frog is also introduced, around the 1930's, onto Romney Marsh, and has since spread out over much of Sussex and Kent. Other introductions elsewhere now mean there are small pockets over the country, but still mainly seem to be seen around the south.

There has for some time been much debate over whether this introduced frog has had an impact on our native Common Frog, certainly our common frogs seem to be in decline, but is there any direct correlation  Well, Aidan Mackay, a PhD student at the university of Kent is doing a research project to try and find out, and he needs your help!

Please take a moment to visit his website to get a better understanding of what Aidan is trying to achieve, and if you do see or hear any marsh frogs in the wild, then report them using his sightings form to help Aidan establish whether these alien frogs really are impacting our common frog in the South. It's research like this which is vital for British wildlife conservation, so please do help as much as you can. 

I'll leave Aidan to briefly explain his project below...

"I have recently started a PhD studentship at the University of Kent. My research is investigating whether non-native marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus), are having an impact on common frogs (Rana temporaria) in South East England. The impact of marsh frogs on native species is still a matter of debate. Doubts regarding the negative effects marsh frogs may have on common frogs stem from the fact they have different habitat preferences. However, common frog declines have been linked to the presence of marsh frogs in ponds that are occupied by fish. An integral part of my research will be determining the distribution of marsh frogs so I would be grateful if you can record any sightings of marsh frogs on my website  This online resource also includes lots more interesting information about the marsh frog. Your time and help will be very much appreciated."
Aidan Mackay
PhD Student, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent

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