Join the big pond thaw survey

Figures from the Met Office have confirmed that December 2010 was the coldest December across the UK since the national series began in 1910. Following the thaw, Pond Conservation has had many reports of fish and amphibian mortalities countrywide, and it looks as though there will be a repeat of the large numbers of dead frogs and fish seen in ponds last February.

frozen pond at Woods Mill

Photo: Filma Dyer/Sussex Wildlife Trust

To understand better what is causing these deaths, and how effective simple strategies, like running a pump, making a hole in the ice or brushing off snow are in reducing mortalities, Pond Conservation has re-launched its Big Pond Thaw for 2010/11. They are using this information to try and get a fuller picture of this phenomenon across the whole of the winter period. It will also help them plan more detailed research on some of the technical issues, such as whether ‘toxic’ gases play a role in the mortalities.

Common Frogs

Photo: Darin Smith/Sussex Wildlife Trust

Over the past 6 weeks there has been a great response; however, Pond Conservation would still be grateful for any records of fish or amphibian deaths you are experiencing, plus a bit about the background to your pond; even if you have not found any dead creatures since this provides important clues about what will help protect amphibians.

Take part in the Big Pond Thaw survey
Pond Conservation
Sussex Wildlife Trust