Reaseheath College’s amphibian specialists jumped to help frogs, toads and newts in a Leap Day campaign.

Talks by keepers and tours of the amphibian collection and new teaching rooms were on offer when the Nantwich college opened its zoo to the public.

It was open at the same time as the popular live lambing family event.

The Leap Day campaign was part of an international event organised by global conservation group Amphibian Ark.

It aimed to encourage people to learn more about amphibian conservation at a local zoo or educational institution.

Reaseheath’s animal management department has 20 species including endangered Mallorcan Midwife toads, poison dart frogs, Sardinian brook salamanders, sharp ribbed newts and a cane toad.

Specialist keeper Adam Mitchell said: “This has been a great opportunity to engage the public in the work we are doing here to conserve amphibians.

“We’ve also been able to show off our new facilities. Our visitors have been very interested and will hopefully take some ideas home.”

Almost half the world’s species of amphibians are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, pollution, disease, and harvesting for food.

“Amphibians are a globally important group dating back 350 million years, well before dinosaurs. They are important because they eat a huge amount of insects which could devastate crops.

“If amphibians died out there would be a great knock on effect on other animals.”


(PIC: Adam Mitchell shows off a four year-old cane toad to 11 year-old visitors Shannon Kennedy and Alexandra Wheat-Hattersley)

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