NMARG was formed in 2005 and is a group of about 60 members who are mostly involved with the conservation and monitoring of the reptiles and amphibians found in the area, especially the rarest two species, the Merseyside Race Sand Lizard and the Natterjack Toad.
During the Winter months, we undertake habitat management work, in partnership with other ARG groups and the Sefton Council Coast and Countryside Ranger Service. This vital work involves the clearance of unwanted scrub and trees, especially Sea Buckthorn, a highly invasive alien shrub on the Sefton Coast, which would otherwise shade out the precious Sand Lizard and Natterjack habitat. In the Spring, NMARG members also help to create and maintain the patches of bare sand essential for Sand Lizard egg laying.
During the Spring and Summer months we spend a large amount of time recording and monitoring the local reptile and amphibian species, especially the rarer species. NMARG's EPS licensed members also provide training in reptile and amphibian surveying.
Some of our members are also involved with the highly successful Sand Lizard Captive Breeding and Release Programme coordinated by the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust, which aims to establish new Sand Lizard colonies, often at sites where they historically occured.
Anyone wishing to get involved, seeking advice or supplying records are very welcome. Please contact Mike Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org
Habitat management task, Sunday December 11th, 2016
NMARG stand at LWT Volunteer Conference
Sand Lizard hatchlings 2016
Wet summer has its benefits!
Amphibian Survey Training 2016 continued
NMARG and the LWT Biodiverse Society Project members paid another visit to the extensive dune slacks of the Sefton Coast on the warm, sunny evening of June 24th and were rewarded with the capture, by netting, of numerous Great Crested Newt larvae, including some very well grown ones. We were able to temporarily place them in trays of water and compare these with their surprisingly less numerous smaller cousins, the Smooth Newt larvae, before releasing them back into their pools.
We then moved onto the frontal dunes, where we found numerous tiny freshly metamorphosed Natterjack toadlets at one particular pool, excavated during the 2012-13 winter. Great care was needed with the placing of our feet!
As always, the survey training was undertaken by GCN and Natterjack EPS licence holders.
Record your Sightings
Mike Brown (chair).
- Sat 28 January 2017 - Sun 29 January 2017 Habitat management for Sand Lizards and Natterjacks
- Sat 11 February 2017 - Sun 12 February 2017 Herpetofauna Workers Meeting 2017