Gardeners are being asked to contribute to a simple national survey that should help establish the extent to which our frogs are under threat from disease.
Of 5,743 know amphibian species in the world, 122 are thought to have disappeared in the last 25 years alone - a staggering proportion. Global problems of wetland habitat loss have been exacerbated by the spread of some virulent diseases.
The viral infection ranavirus has been around in Britain for some time; sometimes called 'red leg disease', it is characterised by ulcers or bleeding, with legs becoming thin and in some cases the extremities falling off. In the last few decades a new threat in the shape of a fungal disease called chytridiomycosis has emerged with the first case in Britain observed just last month.
The Froglife survey consists of a single sheet of simple questions (mostly requiring you to tick either a 'yes' or 'no' box) that will help to establish the extent of these two diseases in Britain. You can get the questionnaire here http://www.froglife.org/Frogwatch.pdf