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Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

The natterjack is one of the rarer amphibian species in Denmark. The species lives in scattered populations throughout the country, but in very limited numbers at all localities. About 80 populations have currently been registered throughout Denmark. One of them is at the tidal meadows around Thyborøn.

The natterjack can grow to a length of 6 cm and it is easily recognised by the thin yellow stripe running down over the back from its nose to the cloaca. The species makes special demands on its habitats and it is therefore primarily found in tidal meadows near fjords and the sea.

The species is largely nocturnal and it spends most of the day concealed. The animals begin to move when twilight appears, emerging to hunt their food, which consists of insects.

The natterjack prefers to hunt in areas without many plants. It can therefore often be seen up in the dunes, where the vegetation is sparse. The natterjack breeds from early spring, when the male’s call can be heard near shallow pools. This species’ tadpoles fare badly in competition with other species.
They have specialised in using temporary, preferably saline pools, which are avoided by other amphibian species.

The shallow pools are warmed by the spring sun, and the higher temperature means that the tadpoles develop quickly. They can complete their metamorphosis to little toads in only 40 days, before the pool dries out.
This also means that the animal can breed until August if the conditions are favourable.
Like all Danish amphibians and reptiles, the natterjack is protected. Collecting them is prohibited, as is disturbing their habitats.