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Animals that Live in a Pond - Facts about Pond Animals
2021-11-19

  Life (as far as we know) starts in the water and is still very dependent on it. Learn about the animals that depend on the pond, the history and main characteristics of the habitat, and why we need to protect and create more ponds.

Pond animals

Animals that live in a pond

  Ponds are home to all kinds of animals including water striders. However, most of the creatures living in the pond are insects and amphibians. Spiders, crayfish, leeches, turtles and crocodiles live in ponds all over the world. If the pond is stocked regularly, the pond is also home to a variety of frogs and some fish. Animals such as deer often use natural ponds as a source of drinking water. Birds feed on fish that live in ponds. The beaver found that the calm waters of the pond are a good place to build a hut. For microscopic life such as bacteria and algae, the pond provides sufficient food, and the water irradiated by the sun provides a suitable temperature for the growth and division of microscopic cells.

  More than 1,000 species of animals live in ponds-although you are unlikely to find all the animals in any one pond. Except for the starfish that only live in the sea, almost all biological groups have representatives. In a large pond, you may find mammals such as water vole and water shrew, as well as birds such as ducks, herons, and kingfishers.

  Even the smallest pond will have a large number of amphibians (frogs, toads, and newts), such as small fish. Spiny fish and a wide variety of invertebrates (small beasts). Some of them are herbivores, such as water fleas and snails, while others are aggressive carnivores, hunting their prey, unfortunate herbivores! The giant diving beetle is one of the largest invertebrate predators in the pond-when one of the hunters is nearby, it is safe without tadpoles! Learn about another creature that inhabits ponds in our dragonfly fact sheet. Many different food chains can be found in the pond, because each animal eats different things. 

Endangered pond animals

  As with any habitat, if the pond is in danger of disappearing, the wildlife in it will also be threatened. Some pond animals in the UK have been officially included in the rare animal list and are fully protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. The great crested newt and the newt toad are two officially endangered amphibians, but even ordinary frogs are hardly as common as before. Many types of dragonflies are becoming more and more rare-Norfolk Aeshna is included in the UK's list of endangered insect species.

  According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

  Norfolk Aeshna, also known as Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna Isosceles), is a type of dragonfly, a rare and endangered dragonfly.

  There are 63 species of dragons listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among them, 2 are endangered, 6 are vulnerable, and 6 are near endangered.

  The Great Crested Newt, also known as the Northern Crested Newt, is listed as the least concerned species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

  The World Conservation Union (IUCN) also classifies natterjack toads and common frogs as the least concerned species.

What is pond?

  The pond is a small piece of still fresh water. It is different from a river or stream because it has no flowing water. It is different from a lake because it has a small area and does not exceed 1.8m in depth. Some ponds are formed naturally and are filled with underwater, spring water or rainwater - sometimes called "dew ponds"; other ponds are made artificially. There are two types of ponds, permanent and temporary, also called spring ponds. Permanent ponds exist throughout the year, but temporarily dry up-usually in the summer. Ponds exist in many different habitats, including floodplains and grasslands, woods and forests, rural farmland, gardens, towns and villages. The pond nourishes various animals and plants and is also used as a recreational place by people. Naturally formed ponds have various regional names. In Scotland, one of the terms is lochan, which may also apply to large areas of water, such as lakes. In the North American prairies, they may be called playas. In medieval Europe, it is typical for many monasteries and castles (small, partially self-sufficient communities) to have fish ponds. These are still common in Europe and East Asia (especially Japan), where koi can be raised. Ponds are used to provide fish and other wild animals, including waterfowl as a source of food for humans.

Threats to ponds and pond life

  The pond creatures adapt well to the rapid changes in this habitat. They can be dispersed into new ponds by land or air. Many have wings or can crawl between ponds on cool, wet nights. Some people even hitchhike and ride on more flexible species.

  Unfortunately, many pond creation mechanisms have ceased. Rivers are dredged and canalized, swamps and swamps are drained, and farmers use troughs and tap water. However, the succession continues, and many ponds are deliberately filled or replaced by invasive plants, so pond species have nowhere to go. Many ponds are contaminated with harmful pesticides, fertilizers or soil lost from the fields.

  Throughout the UK, pond habitats are being destroyed or degraded. Creating or maintaining a pond in your garden is one way to help reverse this trend.

How to protect ponds?

  We can all help the pond and its wildlife in some way. Here are some practical ideas:

  Take a look at the neighborhoods near you and see if you can find any "wild" ponds. If you think the pond needs improvement, such as garbage or plant removal, maybe you and some friends or family can try to renovate it. It is best to seek advice and help on pond management from professional organizations. The British Conservation Volunteers Trust (BTCV) organizes practical work for young people in rural areas, and pays special attention to the restoration and protection of ponds: your local wildlife trust can also help you.

  By the way, the pond may be deep, so be extra careful not to go alone! It is best to persuade an adult to help with you.

  Pond soaking is fun and a great way to learn about life in the pond. Various creatures indicate that the pond is healthy. However, always remember that the most important thing is animal safety. Return them to the pond immediately after completing the research. Collecting eggs of frogs or toads to watch them hatch is a very interesting thing. If you raise a few tadpoles to observe their development, take care of them carefully and return them to the pond after they have grown their legs. For more information, please refer to our fact sheet: care for tadpoles and frogs laying eggs below.

  Create your own pond: Approximately 80% of UK ponds are located in private gardens or school grounds. These are obviously popular with animals that have disappeared from rural ponds such as frogs and dragonflies. A garden pond designed with wild animals is an exciting and worthwhile project-if someone helps you, it is not difficult. You will be surprised how quickly animals are attracted to the newly filled pond. Other garden residents will welcome water to bathe and drink. You may have birds, hedgehogs, mice, foxes and bats making the most of your pond. In addition to providing much-needed homes for some of the wildlife in the UK, you will also enjoy watching your pond improve over time. A seasonal diary of pond events is a good project.

  The important thing to remember is that the pond is an ecosystem: through the pond, each of these life forms helps other creatures to survive in some way. Think of it as a small natural community in the wild.