What is Pondwatch JE?
Jersey has three native amphibian species, and a host of other wildlife for which ponds are a vital habitat. Pondwatch JE is a new project that aims to gather sightings of Jersey’s pondlife to help assess their conservation status, distribution and habitat requirements.
Pondwatch JE is the successor to both the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) which ran in Jersey from 2007 to 2018 and Toadwatch which ran from 2005 to 2018. During this time volunteers provided a great deal of information which has been used to inform the design of Pondwatch as well as influence efforts to protect the species.
How can you help?
There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, with 3 levels of surveys depending on your interest, available time and experience.
Level 1 – spend 30 minutes looking for wildlife in ponds and send us your results. No experience or training is required.
Level 2 – carry out 5 surveys, each taking 30‒60 minutes. You will search for amphibians and other pondlife at a pond using three methods; visual searches, netting and night time torch surveys. You do not need experience but you will need to attend a training event. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be allocated a pond. Alternatively you can survey your own site with the relevant landowner permissions.
Level 3 – you will carry out multiple intensive surveys at known and suspected agile frog sites. You will also contribute to testing Jersey’s amphibians for diseases. This is for experienced surveyors only.
All surveys take place between January and May.
Water quality tests – you can help us assess the level of pollution in Jersey’s ponds using quick and simple test kits.
Get the resources you need to get started on your Pondwatch JE journey at the Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) website. Here you will find: survey forms, survey guides, ID guides, species fact sheets, health and safety information and more.
The western toad (Bufo spinosus), known locally as the crapaud, is found throughout the island and breeds in both semi-natural water bodies and garden ponds. Rather than the spawn clumps laid by frogs, they lay strings of spawn.
The agile frog (Rana dalmatina) is Jersey’s rarest amphibian, occurring in only a few ponds in the southwest of the island after almost going extinct in the 1980’s. It is now part of a long-term recovery project which is steadily helping the population.
The palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) is Jersey’s only newt species. It is found in garden ponds and other water bodies, but is under-recorded. Its eggs are harder to spot than those of frogs and toads, as they lay them singly folded in the leaves of pond plants.
If you currently do not have time to commit to carrying out these surveys please record any sighting you have and.