NMARG
North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group

About Us

NMARG was formed in 2005 and is a group of about 50 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 Sand Lizard and the Natterjack Toad. During the Winter months, we undertake habitat management work, in partnership with other ARG groups and the Sefton Coast and Countryside Ranger Service. In the Spring and Summer months we spend a large amount of time recording and monitoring the rarer species.

Some of our members are also involved with the highly successful Sand Lizard Captive Breeding and Release Programme coordinated by Amphibian & Reptile Conservation. Our group helps with the releases of the hatchlings at various sites in Merseyside and North and West Wales and also helps to subsequently monitor their success.

Anyone wishing to get involved, seeking advice or supplying records is very welcome. Please contact Mike Brown at mb001b9658@blueyonder.co.uk
13890
09/02/12

News

Wet summer has its benefits!

Written on Friday 15th July, 2016
The extremely wet weather of early Summer 2016 has its benefits - the heavy rainfall has ensured that sufficient water has remained in most of the Natterjack breeding pools to enable successful metamorphosis for hundreds of toadlets, which are currently emerging from the pools. This looks like being the best breeding season for Natterjacks for a number of years.

Amphibian Survey Training 2016 continued

Written on Sunday 26th June, 2016

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.


Amphibian and Reptile Training 2016

Written on Thursday 5th May, 2016

The third part of the amphibian and reptile survey training, a joint venture between the Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Biodiverse Society Project and NMARG, took place on Saturday, April 30th, with two sessions, one in the morning near Liverpool and the other in the evening in the Sefton Coast Dunes.

During the first session we placed some refugia in locations which looked good for reptiles and also investigated a suitable looking pond for amphibians. Back on the Sefton Coast in the evening, we netted some pools in the dune slacks for newts and found a Natterjack Toad under an item of refugia. However, the best was reserved for a later torchlight survey, when we were surrounded by the resonant calls of the Natterjacks, finding several individuals and also an amazing number of Great Crested Newts, literally under our feet, as well as Smooth Newts and Common Toads.


Training days

Written on Monday 11th April, 2016

NMARG and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust's Biodiverse Society Project jointly organised a training day for their members and volunteer surveyors of the local herpetofauna on April 3rd. This included a practical session out in the Sefton dunes, when we managed to find a very early pair of breeding Natterjacks (see picture above), as well as several Great Crested Newts, Smooth Newts and Common Lizards.

This training is to be continued on April 16th, when we have another classroom session, followed by another session in the field, looking for lizards.


Scrub Control, Sefton Coast, Winter 2015-16

Written on Tuesday 29th March, 2016
NMARG has completed a total of five habitat management tasks on the Sefton Coast during the Winter of 2015-16. These mainly involved the removal of invasive Sea Buckthorn, especially regrowth in areas previously cleared. Although it will be necessary to go over many of these areas again next Winter, the start of the Spring bird-nesting season means that we can no longer do this work and will now turn our attention to renovating sand patches, in order to provide suitable places for Sand Lizards to lay their eggs in Summer. There will be several tasks involving this kind of work during the period mid-April to the end of May, and they will be advertised on the Events page in due course.

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Photo Gallery

North Merseyside ARG Gallery
Early breeding Natterjacks
This pair of Natterjacks were spawning on April 3rd 2016, an early...

Sea Buckthorn Clearance, Ainsdale
Clearing Sea Buckthorn suckers and regrowth, January, 2016

Recently excavated Natterjack 'Scrape'
One of the new pools excavated by machine, organised by Sefton...

Sea Buckthorn invasion
This plant is a massive threat to Sand Lizard and Natterjack Toad...

 
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Mike Brown (chair).

 

 

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Latest News

Wet summer has its benefits!: The extremely wet weather of early Summer 2016 has its benefits - the heavy rainfall has ensured that sufficient water has remained in most of the Natterjack breeding pools to enable successful metamorphosis for hundreds of toadlets, which are currently emerging from the pools. This looks like being the best... read more >>