Ireland has only three representatives of the amphibian family: the common frog, the natterjack toad and the smooth newt.
The common frog or Loscán has a very widely spread distribution, found in most parts of Ireland. They thrive in areas such as damp forests, peat and farm land. When they begin breeding, they seek out ponds in which to lay their eggs.
The natterjack toad or Cnádán is endangered animal here in Ireland. It can only be found in patches in Wexford and Kerry. Unusual for a toad, they spend their adult lives on coastal, sandy areas, whilst breeding in warm, shallow ponds.
The smooth newt (Earc Sléibhe) is a common creature in Ireland, having a very wide distribution similar to the common frog. When it breeds it uses either ponds that are stagnant or ones that are surrounded thickly with water plants. As an adult, common newts prefer areas like wood lands, dry scrub and long grass.
How can you tell the difference between a common frog and a natter-jack toad?
A frog spends most of its time in the water and in moist areas. Its skin is smooth, moist and shiny. It has very long back legs with a slim body. It leaps and crawls. A toad spends most of its time on land, in drier areas. A toad’s skin is rough, warty looking and dry. It has a plump body, with the back legs being short and thick. It therefore crawls and ‘runs’ on land. So keep your eyes open for our native amphibians!