The breeding season of the Natterjack toad, depending on the temperature, usually begins in May and ends in September. But there are never any Netterjack tots in Middleburg now. “A toad string can lay three thousand eggs, with about a thousand toads living in each string,” Sneltz says as he walks to the stone bowls.
‘They Are Like Dotpoles’
Sneltz says right there on an old and empty butter plate. “I’ll catch some to show the toad. They look like dotballs, but are a little old now. Then I’ll throw them back in the bowl of water.”
“It’s so special to have so many Natterjack toads with us now,” Sneltz continues. “I do not think there is a comparable situation in which Netterjack toads occur in the middle of a city in the Netherlands.” The municipality of Midelberg has also contributed to this. The stone bowls in the park, which are now an excellent breeding ground, are cleaned every winter. That’s good for the Netterjack toad.
A great clean up
“In the winter all the water comes out and comes in fresh water. So if there is a dragonfly or a beetle or any other animal larvae that want to eat those animals they will disappear during cleaning. So that water is completely clean and the toads really have to succeed through breeding.”
Snealthz goes to work every morning to check on ‘his’ toads. “They’s so much fun, they’m just like mice, they’m so cute! What’s special about the Natterjack toad is that it runs as fast as a mouse. And then the whole idea of those animals being here, I like it.”