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Animal Welfare: Natterjack Toads

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are taking any measures to protect the natterjack toad on the north-west coast of England. [HL3389]

The natterjack toad is fully protected in UK law under Schedule 5 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and Schedule 2 to the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994. It is also protected in European law under Appendix 2 of the Bern Convention.

On the north-west coast of England, the natterjack toad's key habitats receive additional protection as special areas of conservation (SACs). For example, Morecambe Bay and the Sefton Coast, Ainsdale Sand Dunes and Cabin Hill National Nature Reserves are specifically owned and managed by Natural England to protect the natterjack toad and its sand dune habitats. The Sefton Coast Partnership is currently developing a new nature conservation strategy and biodiversity delivery plan for the whole Sefton Coast: this also reflects the need to conserve natterjack toad populations. There are strict tests for any development which could have adverse impacts on SAC habitats, and Natural England must be consulted in all cases.

Almost all the natterjack toad populations in Cumbria are found within sites of special scientific interest designated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and this affords a further degree of protection.

The Wealth of Wildlife project was launched on 21 April 2007 as the flagship project of the Cumbria Biodiversity Partnership. Over £860,000 has been provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rural Regeneration Cumbria and the landfill tax to deliver over three years a range of conservation objectives for rare and threatened species and habitats, including the natterjack toad. The natterjack toad is one of four biodiversity action plan species included in a joint project between Natural England and the Herpetological Conservation Trust.