By Liz Corry
For those not in the know, the crapaud is not a mythical beast but the Jèrriais name given to the western toad (Bufo spinosus). Les Landes is a very important breeding site for the toad. Seasonal ponds and puddles scattered around the site, often across public footpaths, are used for spawning. With adult toads on the move to reach these water bodies it is important we remove as many threats as possible and protect spawn, hence the closures.
The toad is one of Jersey’s most abundant amphibian species and possibly most surveyed. However, there is still a lot we don’t know, especially when it comes to urban environments and coastal heathland. Particularly the importance of connectivity between sites. There is little point in protecting a spawning site if the adults get squished before reaching it. “Build it and they will come” isn’t always applicable!
If you find yourself out and about at Les Landes, please respect the area, follow the rules sign-posted on the footpaths…and report any choughs you see (ok so the last bit is not mandatory). Click here to see the public countryside access map and learn about the codes of conduct.
If you want to know more or way you can help Jersey’s crapaud and other amphibian islanders, then head to PondwatchJE. There will also be an in-person training event on the 12th of February at the Frances Le Sueur Centre, St. Ouen. Islanders can register via Eventbrite using the link below.