Natterjack toad

Scotland’s rarest amphibian occurs in only a handful of sites on the south coast in Dumfriesshire.

Restricted to a few places in Dumfriesshire, the natterjack toad a European protected species is Scotland's rarest amphibian.

The natterjack toad is a very active species, adapted to life on open sandy heaths and coastal grassland where it hunts at night by running after prey rather than sitting in ambush like frogs and common toads.

Unlike other British amphibians, it can dig its own burrow in the sand to avoid the heat of the day. It is found near the coast because of this need to live in open sandy habitat rather than any link to salt water.

Natterjack toad ponds at Caerlaverock NNR. ©Lorne Gill/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or
Natterjack toad ponds at Caerlaverock NNR.
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©Lorne Gill.

Protection of natterjack toads

The natterjack toad is a European protected species.

Find out about protected species of amphibian and reptile.

Learn about licensing for great crested newts and natterjack toads.

Report a sighting

You should report any sighting of an amphibian or reptile to the Record Pool.

Alternatively, find out about taking part in the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme.

Find out more

Read our guidance for planners and developers on protected animals.

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