More good news for Highland amphibians
A recent study by Scottish
Natural Heritage and The Highland Council has found that the ponds in the A96
corridor between Inverness and Nairn are very healthy and supporting a wide
variety of wildlife.
The investigation, carried out by the Council’s graduate research assistant Marcia Rae, aimed to determine the extent of the existing pond network within the corridor and establish how healthy this network might currently be.
Marcia identified seventy one water bodies in the area. Of these twelve were visited and seven assessed for water quality using the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) method. Five were classed in the “very healthy” category and two were classed in the “quite healthy” category. These two sites were those closest to the existing road.
All three common species of amphibians were found during the course of this
work. These are the Common Frog (Rana temporaria), Common Toad (Bufo bufo) and
Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus). There are also a number of sites
supporting populations of The Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus). All of
this suggests that there is already an excellent network of wetland habitat in
the area that is successfully supporting amphibians and other wildlife.
This work is important to ensure that this wetland habitat can be preserved or even enhanced with the proposed development in the A96 corridor. Marcia’s work on the Sustainable Drainage (SuDS) ponds in inverness has already found amphibians breeding in the city in SuDS of a similar or lower quality. The new development will have a legal requirement to implement SuDS, providing an opportunity to further support amphibian species, all of which are listed as a priority in the Inverness and Nairn Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).
Marcia said “The SuDS could work to increase the wetland habitat network that is important for so many species and ensure that urban expansion can work with and for wildlife as well as people.”
For more information about this work or the Inverness SuDS project contact Marcia Rae at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07753352400.