Wednesday, August 08, 2007

State of our Herps, 2007

In the Government's State of the Countryside 2007 report there is some encouraging news about arrests in species declines. However in the section on Environmental Quality, it says this of reptiles and amphibians:

"Evidence from biological indicators suggests that the situation has stabilised but at lower levels than several decades ago, and it may be some time before ecological improvements are clearly visible. Some measures suggest that where improvements have occurred, such as in river water quality, the more mobile species such as otters can make an effective recovery. It may take a lot longer and require active habitat restoration and reintroduction programmes to improve the situation for less mobile species such as reptiles and amphibians."

Gotta keep trying folks!

The full report is on line here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A garden pond weblog

There is an interesting webog here on life in a pond in a garden:

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Herpetiles and developers

There is a very useful article in The Telegraph on herpetiles and developers with particular reference to the situation in various places in Sussex and Kent.

It is on line here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Frog tadpoles wanted in Etchingham

Dave Harris has had a call from a gentleman in Etchingham who has four ponds with numbers of both Smooth and Great Crested Newts, but no frogs, but would like to try.

He is aware of the propensity of newts for eggs and tadpoles of frogs, and will segregate same from them.

So basically, does anyone know of surplus frog tadpoles? He is willing to collect and pay a donation to SARG. Might be interesting, though, to have a look at his ponds and GCNs too.

His name is John Atkins, and telephone number is 01435 883551.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Midland reptile recording

Leicestershire County Council's Community Heritage Initiative, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Rutland County Council is encouraging the public to become reptile recorders by getting involved with an on-going countywide survey 'Snakes Alive.'

There is an interesting article about this here.

Maybe we could encourage Sussex, East and West, to set up Community Heritage Initiatives for recording reptiles and amphibians. Interesting to see too that Rutland is supporting Leicestershire. Maybe we could get Surrey to help us.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Useful books and other publications on herpetiles

I have only just started this (March 2007), so be patient while the list grows. If you know of any publication you think worth adding to this list, please e-mail me Patrick Roper on

Further details of any title can usually be found on the Internet.
  • Angel, F. (1946) Faune de France 46. Reptiles et Amphibiens. Librairie de la Faculté des Sciences, Paris. Also available on-line.
  • Arnold, E. N. & Burton, J. A. (1978) A field guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Great Britain and Europe. Collins, London.
  • Arnold, H. R. (1995) Atlas of the Amphibians and Reptiles in Britain. ITE research publication No. 10, Monks Wood, Cambs. (Available from HMSO, London)
  • Barker, Mike & Elliott, Mark (2000) Sussex Amphibian and Reptile Group Millennium Report. Sussex Amphibian and Reptile Group, Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex.
  • Beebee, T. (1983) The natterjack toad. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Beebee, T. (1985) Frogs & Toads. Whittet Books, Stowmarket, Suffolk
  • Beebee, T. & Griffiths, R. (2000) Amphibians and Reptiles. HarperCollins, London.
  • Bennett, D. (1999) Expedition Field Techniques. Reptiles and Amphibians. Expedition Advisory Centre, Royal Geographical Society, London
  • British Herpetological Society (n.d.c. 1990) Surveying for Amphibians. British Herpetological Society.
  • Clegg, John (1965) The Freshwater Life of the British Isles. (Third edition). Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd, London.
  • Cooke, A. S. & Scorgie, H. R. A. (1983) The status of the commoner reptiles and amphibians in Britain. Focus on Nature Conservation No. 3. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough.
  • English Nature (1991) Facts about amphibians. English Nature, Peterborough (A5 leaflet).
  • English Nature (2001) Great crested newt mitigation guidelines. English Nature, Peterborough.
  • Frazer, J. F. D. (1983) Reptiles and amphibians in Britain. Collins, London.
  • Foster, J. (1999) Management of grassland for reptiles and amphibians. In Croft, A. & Jefferson, R. G. (eds) Grassland management of species (Chapter 13.6) in The Lowland Grassland Management Handbook. 2nd edition. RSPB, Sandy, Bedfordshire. Also on line here.
  • Gent, T. & Gibson, S. (2003) Herpetofauna Workers' Manual. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.
  • Griffiths, Richard (1987) How to Begin the Study of Amphibians. Richmond Publishing Company.
  • Hansen, Elvig (trs. Simon, Noel) (1986) Birth of Toads. J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd, London & Melbourne
  • Herpetological Conservation Trust (2006) The British Amphibians and Reptiles. Ecology and Conservation. The Herpetological Conservation Trust, Boscombe, Bournemouth (Free A2 leaflet and wall chart).
  • Langton, T, Beckett, C. & Foster, J. (2001) Great Crested Newt Conservation Handbook. Froglife, Halesworth, Suffolk.
  • Nature Conservancy Council (1983) The ecology and conservation of amphibian and reptile species endangered in Britain. NCC, Peterborough.
  • Nixon, Marion (1985) The Illustrated Book of Vertebrates. The mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibia of Britain. Peerage Books, London (originally published by Oxford University Press in 1972).
  • Oliver, G. (n.d.) Wildlife Facts. Frogs and Toads. The Wildlife Trusts. (Folded A4 leaflet).
  • Olsen,L-H, Sunesen, J. & Pedersen, B. V. (2001) Small Freshwater Creatures. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • A guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians found in the UK. A useful on-line resource.
  • Riddell, Anne (1995) Nose to nose with newts. BBC Wildlife Vol.13 No. 6, June 1995: 16-21 .
  • Simms, Colin (1970) Lives of British Lizards. Goose & Son, Norwich.
  • Thirion, J-M., Grillet, P. & Geniez, P. (2002) Les Amphibiens et les Reptiles du Centre-Ouest de la France, région Poitou-Charentes et départements limitrophes. Collection Parthénope, éditions Biotopes, Meze, France
  • Wisniewski, Patrick (1989) Newts of the British Isles. Shire Natural History Series.
  • Wycherley, J. & Anstis, R. (xxxx) Amphibians and Reptiles of Surrey. Surrey Wildlife Trust, Woking, Surrey

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lewes River Festival, 30 June 2007

Message from Dan Ross, Community Ranger from Lewes District Council:

I am organising a River Festival on Lewes Railway Land Local Nature Reserve, on the 30th June 2007, and I am ringing/writing round lots of people I think may like to take part - or suggest someone who would.

The event will be a family community event celebrating the nature reserve and the Ouse river valley. There will be workshops and activities, such as willow weaving, performance including dance by local schools children, music by a local band, and lots of stands for community groups to either run activities or advertise their existence/products/services.

We are trying to invite many wildlife organisations so that their presence can help raise the profile of wildlife protection and the importance of local nature reserves.

Further details from Dan Ross, Community Ranger, Lewes District Council
Office: 01273 484408
Fax: 01273 484462

Toad crossings 2007

Sussex toads are on the move again and anyone who is interested in volunteering to help them across the roads should get in touch with Jenny Bacon on 01825 890236 or e-mail:

The toads head back to their traditional breeding pools after dark and need help so that they do not get run over. The picture shows some of the lucky ones being taken over in a bucket.