Natterjack Toad Rearing

In partnership with the NPWS, Oceanworld staff are dedicated to helping to boost the population of Natterjack toads in Ireland, the only native toad species. Natterjack toads are an endangered species which means they are very likely to go extinct in the wild.

The Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) is the rarest species of amphibian in Ireland and is only found in Co. Kerry, though some have been intentionally released to different parts of the country. Natterjacks have a very loud and distinctive mating call so their name literally means the chattering toad – the jack (or toad) that natter.

Natterjacks have a very specific breeding pool that they use. Pools need to have a very slight slope with sparse vegetation on the banks and in the water. As such pools are often temporary, sometimes the tadpoles die when the pools dry out. The Natterjack compensates for that risk by mating over an extended period each summer. 

In support of the habitat creation scheme, the tadpoles are collected from unsuitable ponds that will dry up before the tadpoles can metamorphosise. They are brought to the aquarium where we can care for them through this process. As toadlets, they are released back to the area from which they were rescued.

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