RAUK - Archived Forum - Mifwife toads in Devon

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Mifwife toads in Devon:

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ngreen
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Joined: 14 May 2010
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Posted: 14 May 2010
I am trying to find out more about midwife toads in Devon. Several references from ARC/ARG/RAUK state that they are present in Devon, one saying south Devon, but the Local Records Centre has no record and no one knows where this information has come from. I'd be grateful if anyone could shed some light.

Caleb
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 14 May 2010
Christopher Lever's book on introduced animals states that Viscount Chaplin attempted an introduction near Totnes in 1954.

I seem to remember reading (not sure where) that they continued there till the 70s.


mhows
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Joined: 27 Feb 2006
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Posted: 13 Jul 2010

 

In 1954, the third Viscount Anthony Chaplin released several species of animals into his walled garden at Wadstray House (Owned by Lord Chaplin from 1951 until his death in 1981) at Blackawton, near Totnes in Devon.

Two egg carrying [Midwife toad] males from the London Zoological Gardens were released at Black Oughton [Blackawton is the location of Wadstray Ho.], Totnes, in South Devon by Viscount Chaplin in the mid 1950's. This colony existed until the early 1970's but has not been heard of since. ( P Nicholson, Teignbridge District Council, 1985)

They are still present at sites local to me in Northants, Beds and I have recently found a site in Essex where they are present.

I hope someone helps you with some more detailed information.

Mark


Caleb
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Posted: 14 Jul 2010
[QUOTE=mhows]They are still present at sites local to me in Northants[/QUOTE]

Is that the Oundle colony? I'd be interested to hear more about that one, it doesn't seem to be as well documented as the Bedford or Worksop colonies.
mhows
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Posted: 14 Jul 2010

There is a healthy population in the south of Oundle, locally common but not particularly dispersed. They breed in garden ponds, they are easily heard during the right season.

Robert Brocklehurst / family  introduced them to Oundle and Worksop from the Bedford colony in the 1950's

Mark

Some pics

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8209127@N04/4622588102/in/set-7 2157612155046196/

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8209127@N04/4621981485/in/set-7 2157612155046196/

 


will
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
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Posted: 14 Jul 2010
Hi Mark

I notice that you assign the UK midwife toads to Alytes cisternasii rather than the traditional Alytes obstetricans on your Alien Invaders website - is this now generally accepted?

Cheers

Will 

mhows
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Posted: 14 Jul 2010

[QUOTE=will]Hi Mark

I notice that you assign the UK midwife toads to Alytes cisternasii rather than the traditional Alytes obstetricans on your Alien Invaders website - is this now generally accepted?

Cheers

Will 
[/QUOTE]

No idea, I was told they were  cisternasii, but happy to be corrected if that is incorrect as I am no expert on taxonomy.

Mark


will
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Posted: 15 Jul 2010
Me neither!  It's just that they're always referred to as the 'commoner' species 'obstetricans' which is the one found just over the Channel in France, rather than the Iberian species.  Apparently the critical feature is the presence of 3 tubercles on the 'palm' of each hand in obstetricans, and only 2 with cisternasii.  I guess this could be worth checking on UK populations (although of course you wouldn't then be legally allowed to let them go..)
Caleb
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Posted: 15 Jul 2010
The Bedford animals (which seem to be the origin of pretty much all the UK colonies) came from southern France according to Lever- this would make them A. obstetricans.


will
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Posted: 17 Jul 2010
Thanks for that - here's one from Herts, which certainly looks like obstetricans to me:



- Mifwife toads in Devon

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