RAUK - Archived Forum - Big Pond Thaw Survey

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Big Pond Thaw Survey:

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Chris Monk
Senior Member
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 157

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Posted: 21 Jan 2010
After the recent big freeze, how many ponds have resultant amphibian or fish deaths?
Pond Conservation are asking people to look at their garden ponds and fill in their simple questionnaire to find out what effect there has been from the ice and snow and whether you or anyone else did anything such as breaking the ice or sweeping snow off the top.
So if you have a garden pond or know another small pond well enough could you fill in the on-line reporting form - and they are just as interested in ponds where there weren't any deaths.
The form is on their website 

http://www.pondconservation.org.uk/bigponddip/bigpondthawfor monline.htm
[Ignore the gap between characters in the above address as can't seem to edit it out]
Chris Monk40199.9603935185
Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Jan 2008
No. of posts: 260

View other posts by Peter
Posted: 24 Jan 2010

http://www.pondconservation.org.uk/aboutus/News/latestnews/l aunchofbigthawsurveyform

There you go.

ben rigsby
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
No. of posts: 337

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Posted: 27 Apr 2010
hi, ive just joined the forum. i have a small pond in central gloucester which ive watched daily for the last 7 years. it is home to 80-100 assorted newts and this year 100+ rana came to breed. despite the freeze. in my daily duties as a postman i "keep watch" on other ponds in gardens in STROUD (9 miles away). one of my customers broke a small football-sized hole in his 4x7ft(mine is roughly half this) pool once a day during the snap. i think he works for a conservation group and i remember him saying he didnt think it would do much good. he was right.
post-ice he had about 10 dead frogs floating.

another chap was away during the bad weather and so didnt do anything about the ice. i didnt see his pond during the aftermath but he told me he also lost frogs AND many adult newts.
I gently broke the ice ALL OVER my own pond with a spade daily (sometimes more often when temps were really low) and didnt lose any amphibians.
of course i cant be sure my intervention was the reason for this but on the other hand, i had more rana returning to breed this year than since i dug the hole 7 years ago.
a further note.....
despite the huge numbers of adults i had, surprisingly few rana bred successfully and once hatched there was a sudden, huge die-off of tadpoles that polluted the water. could all the cold weather have affected rana reproduction in subtle ways?? ive never had a larval holocaust before. who knows?
those taddies that survived and remain are constantly under threat from the caudata of course.
ben rigsby
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Apr 2010
No. of posts: 337

View other posts by ben rigsby
Posted: 27 Apr 2010
forgot to add, most of the other "frog" ponds on my round had dead rana too. they were all "unattended to" ones. most are small and often moulded or concrete. the first three i mentioned earlier (inc mine) are all fish-free and butyl if that helps. im not sure how much info you want as i cant get on the reporting page at present. hope ive been of interest though!

- Big Pond Thaw Survey

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