On the hunt for a frog invader

By David GreenRESEARCHERS are on the look out for a foreign invader that has started to colonise part of the region.The green frog, from the European mainland, is thought to have started to colonise Suffolk and members of Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group are keen to pinpoint its whereabouts.

By David Green

RESEARCHERS are on the look out for a foreign invader that has started to colonise part of the region.

The green frog, from the European mainland, is thought to have started to colonise Suffolk and members of Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group are keen to pinpoint its whereabouts.

Ponds in a village between Halesworth and Eye are currently being investigated following reports the frogs' calls can be heard and researchers believe other colonies may already be established elsewhere in the county.


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The native species – known as the common frog, but becoming increasingly uncommon – is a relatively quiet and unobtrusive creature and breeds in the early spring.

But the green frog breeds throughout the summer and likes to bask in the sun on the banks of ponds.

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There are several different types of green frog, including the species farmed for consumption in France.

Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group spokesman, John Baker, said: "The call sounds a bit like a duck.

"We want to find out how far these frogs have spread or if they occur at any other locations in Suffolk."

Mr Baker and Rosie Norton, the county recorder for amphibians and reptiles, are to venture out with a tape recorder to try to capture the sounds of the green frog.

The recording will be sent to Trevor Beebee, a frog expert based at Sussex University, with the hope that he will confirm the identity of the species.

Colonies of green frogs now developing in this country are thought to result from deliberate or accidental releases by collectors. Some of the creatures may also have arrived in this country in cargoes aboard ships.

One type of green frog – known as the marsh frog – has been firmly established in Kent for almost 70 years.

Anyone hearing the calls of what may turn out to be green frogs can contact Ms Norton at 3 Wood View, Sibton, IP17 2NH.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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