PBA Applied Ecology
PBA Applied Ecology


Our team of specialists have extensive experience in all aspects of protected amphibian works, from survey to mitigation and translocations. Initial habitat assessment surveys are often the first approach to determine the likelihood that protected amphibians are at your site, and engaging PBA at an early phase of works ensures that your project can proceed to schedule and on budget. PBA have the capability to undertake surveys for all British amphibian species, and can provide a range of creative mitigation solutions when development conflicts arise.

What services do we offer? 

PBA Applied Ecology have the necessary licences and experience to deliver:

  • Amphibian habitat suitability surveys – Year round

  • Great crested newt eDNA surveys 15th April to 30th June

  • Great crested newt population assessments – mid-March to mid-June. Three survey methods required:

    • Bottle trapping

    • Torch survey

    • Egg search

  • Natterjack toad torchlight surveys – April to September

  • Natterjack toad refuge surveys – Spring to Autumn

Legislation protecting amphibians

There are three newt species, two frog species and two toad species native to Britain. Several of these species are covered by some form of legal protection. Under British and European Law both great crested newts and natterjack toads, and their habitat are protected from disturbance, damage and destruction (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Habitats Regulations 2017).

Do I need amphibian surveys?

If a pond is located within 500 m of your development site then the potential presence of great crested newts will have to be considered. This is usually incorporated into a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) where local biological records and a habitat suitability assessment will determine whether further surveys are required. Following on from this eDNA can be used to determine presence/absence of great crested newts however more in depth surveying to determine the population size will be required if a pond to be impacted by works is found to have great crested newts.

Natterjack toad surveys will be required where historical records suggest they may be present and suitable habitat is located within or near to your development site. The distribution of natterjack toads is quite restricted in the UK, being almost exclusively confined to coastal sand dunes, grazing marshes and sandy heaths.

If you have any queries regarding the services your project may require, please contact our Terrestrial team specialists.