20 May 2016
Jersey’s work to save the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) has been recognised internationally.
The world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has featured a study of Jersey’s efforts to conserve our population of agile frogs in one of its recent publications, which includes case studies from around the world.
Jersey is home to the only agile frog population in the British Isles. It is locally endangered and protected under the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000.
Its decline began in the last century, and by 1988, the only place it could still be found was L'Ouaisne Common.
The cause of the frog’s decline is thought to be loss of habitat, pollution of groundwater, water shortages and the loss of breeding ponds.
Learn from Jersey
The article, written by staff at the Natural Environment team at the Department of the Environment, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the University of Kent, outlines their combined efforts over many years, to find ways of increasing the population. The methods used are recognised as best practice and the inclusion of the project by the IUCN allows future species recovery projects elsewhere in the world to learn from Jersey.
The project involved the development of an effective conservation management programme to protect the frog’s natural habitat, and the establishment of a tadpole head-starting and release programme. Each stage was informed by targeted monitoring and research.
The project has led to an increase in the L’Ouaisne population and the successful introduction of the species in new areas of Jersey, increasing its chance of survival here in the future.
The current number of breeding females is more than 100 and this has increased from fewer than 10 in the early 1990s.