Author Archives: richard hanley

Why Endangered Amphibians Need Wildlife Ponds

In the United Kingdom today the amphibian popuation is swiftly dwindling and faces long term survival challenges of almost overwhelming proportions. The key factors lending to this decline are habitat loss, pollution and disease. Many experts concur that unless something significant is done we could see the loss of these amazing animals in our lifetime.

When i think myself back to my childhood days I remember many a fine day as a boy with my friends at the local pools or the brook, endless summertime days of catching toads and frogs and sticklebacks (we always let them go!). I was lucky, i had a terrific childhood.

I travelled back to visit the region i grew up in a few years ago, and there is now a car park where those wonderful old ponds were. Obviously severely polluted the brook appeared dead with all visible life wiped out. These days in our over-developed urban regions such habitats are growing rarer and rarer.

The complete number of habitats lost to development has been catastrophic and never-ending. The development of many wetland sites has been checked when discovered to be home to natterjack toads or great-crested newts, our 2 rarest amphibians.

There was a well publicized instance lately where a colony of great-crested newts was relocated, at a tremendous expense, to make way for a new runway at Manchester Airport.

But immeasurable thousands of ponds and waterways in the UK who did not benefit from the presence of either of these two residents have already been developed, huge amounts of Newts, toads and frogs decimated and the huge biodiversity of plants, animals and insects that existed there gone too.

As if this is not sufficient to deal with, the spectre of dangerous viral contagions wont go away. The frog population in the South East of the nation has already experienced devastating outbreaks of Ranavirus. A non-native amphibian species is thought to have brought Ranavirus into the United Kingdom, most probably from North America.There is no cure at present. It can also infect the Common Toad and all 3 of our newt species.

Fortunately, the developing popularity of natural gardening techniques and practices offers a glimmer of hope in the fight for the future of these unreplaceable and charming animals. Although there is no defence against the Ranavirus, anyone could effectively and easily add to the amount of viable habitat they have got. Easy to create and manage, a wildlife pool will beguile and educate all ages, and it can look pretty amazing besides!

Even a really little simple pond can become an oasis, plentiful in biodiversity and of interestingness all year round. Then dont you think its time to bring a little piece of nature into your life, your kids lives? Go in the garden in the clean air and start creating!

Mark Best writes articles that help people to Build a Garden Pond of their own. For example, you could build a Wildlife Pond in your Garden easily in a weekend.

categories: amphibians,animals,wildlife pond,garden pond,gardening,landscaping,home and family,family

A Bugs Life In The Wildlife Pond

There can be no doubt that sitting down in a comfy garden chair, with a cool beverage in hand on a splendid summers day watching the activity in and around a well crafted wildlife pond is one of lifes true pleasures. Yet, have you ever thought what may be happening beneath that deceptively peaceful and tranquil surface? Predatory Animals, grazers and scavengers will be encountered here, a plentiful and variable ecosystem of aquatic animals whose endless fight for survival equals any other.

Coming in umpteen thousands of sizes and designs, Copepods are the most small-scale, primary animals in our pool nutrient chain and in the main resemble miniature shrimps. They have a hard ectoskeleton and feed on bacteria, algae and microscopic single-celled organisms. Pond Skaters are well-known to most individuals, covered in water repellent hair they can run really fast indeed, catching and devouring small insects that fall on the waters surface.

Water Beetles also may take up residency in your pool, numerous species that vary a great deal in size and aggressiveness. Large species can hunt smaller fish and can be very violent.

Finding their way in the form of eggs stuck to birds feet, snails will eventually be found in the pond. The Common Pond Snail is great fun, you can observe them surf the surface of the pond upside down, from one side to the other. Many more beasts will also take up residence in your pool, like Mayfly Nymphs, Leeches, Water Spiders and Caddis Fly Larvae to mention but a few, its grand how they come along as if by magic. Each of these diverse species are a source of food for the fish, birds, dragonflies and frogs farther along the food chain.

A superb way to spot some of the more itsy-bitsy denizens of your deep is to get a large coffee jar upside down & dip it into the water to approximately half your pond depth, preferably near some vegetation. Release the air from it by turning it over and leave it alone for a spell to settle in a dark, cool place. A time spent with a magnifying glass can be very absorbing and will help you appreciate the variety and complexity of life you can help to survive.

Mark Best writes articles that help people to make their own Pond in the Garden. If you went for it you could build a Garden Pond easily in a weekend!