Gruesome gully pots
A walk along only a couple of streets near Dundee on 23rd May lifting grids to inspect the gully pots there revealed a horrible death toll for migrating amphibians:
As well as dead and rotting newts and frogs, more than a dozen live animals were found and these were rescued by amphibian enthusiast and gullypot-ladder engineer Trevor Rose.
The newts, frogs and toads were generally blackened by the dark conditions of the gully pot environment into which they had tumbled. But most were also glistening with an un-natural and potentially toxic sheen of mineral oil. At least one newt was seriously poisoned and swimming on its side or literally belly-up, even after being rescued and released in to a clean pond environment.
Source control SUDS that avoid the use of gully pots are of course one way of reducing the impact on amphibian populations that these death traps can have during migration to and from breeding ponds (which may also be SUDS of course).
Further information on the Amphibians in Drains Project 2014, carried out by Perth & Kinross Ranger Service and Tayside Biodiversity Partnership can be accessed from http://www.taysidebiodiversity.co.uk/.