The toad, once a familiar sight in Island ponds and waterways, is more commonly known in Jersey as the ‘crapaud’ - its name in the local patois, Jèrriais.
In recent years, however, the crapaud has been disappearing from the natural areas where it was once common, although it is known that many private garden ponds still host healthy populations of toads.
What does the toad look like?
The toad, which walks rather than jumps like a frog, is brown or olive in colour and has a warty skin, which tends to be drier than that of frogs.
Toadspawn is usually laid in the spring and in Jersey appears as early as January. It is laid in long strings of perhaps thousands of small black eggs enclosed in clear jelly. It can be distinguished easily from frogspawn, which is produced in small clumps.
Healthy toad populations are important to gardeners and farmers, as they can consume many thousands of insect pests and therefore reduce the need for chemicals.
The exact conservation status of the crapaud is unclear, and Islanders’ help is needed to establish where it is still thriving.
Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust initiated the Toad Watch Campaign, encouraging local people to monitor and report the activity in their gardens and ponds. This information allows Durrell to draw a relatively accurate picture of the annual population status of this increasingly rare species.
Toad Watch Campaign on Durrell website
Attract toads into your garden
The garden and farm ponds for toads leaflet will give you lots of tips on how to attract toads into your garden.
Garden and farm ponds for toads leaflet