OxARG
Oxfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group

About Us

In 2012 we relaunched OxARG with an expanded committee, and a formal membership scheme. We are delighted to report that this has been successful, and we have attracted a lot of new interest locally, as well as forging closer links with a number of local wildlife groups, including the wildlife trust (BBOWT), Oxford Urban Wildlife Group and the Friends’ of Aston’s Eyot.

As well as our own events, which included a family OxARG Reptile Ramble through one of our local inner city reserves at Lye Valley – one of the few places to see common lizards in the city, in 2012 we also attended Oxfordshire Goes Wild at the Natural History Museum, the Oxford Urban Bioblitz and Go Wild in the Chilterns. By taking live animals along with supporting literature we hope to enable people to experience and understand better our native herps at first hand. We’ve also conducted regular amphibian surveys including training students from both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University, at Earth Trust and BBOWT sites, as well as a special GCN training course for OxARG members in partnership with BBOWT at Dry Sandford Pit.

Everybody has been hugely enthusiastic about record collecting, and we are up-dating our database at a great rate. However, one of our major concerns is still our declining adder population and despite following up all reports, our only confirmed (small) population is at the BBOWT Warburg reserve. 

If anybody does spot an adder - or indeed any other reptile or amphibian in Oxfordshire please tell us about it. Either e-mail us, or put your record directly into the ARG UK record pool online at: http://www.arguk.org/recording

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28/08/12

News

Adders need protection not persecution

Written on Wednesday 29th August, 2012
In response to this article:
 http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/9729655.Family_s_shock_after_dog_is_biten_by_adder/

I AM writing in response to recent concerns over adders that have been expressed by the Health Protection Agency, and your report (Monday’s Oxford Mail) about a dog being bitten in Wantage.

We would like to reassure readers that the risk of an adder bite is infinitesimally small, since they are almost extinct in our county, with only a handful of individuals remaining on protected reserves.

In terms of risk to human or animal health you are more at risk from: bee stings, allergens, getting out of the bath, and making a cup of tea, to name but a few hazardous everyday activities.

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In fact, there have only ever been 14 reported deaths from adder bites in Britain, and none since 1975 – nearly 40 years ago.

Our greatest concern is of persecution against a species that is already one of Britain’s most threatened.

Adders have suffered from centuries of persecution and habitat loss. They are declining across many areas of Britain, and are extinct in several counties in England.

We would also like to point out that they are protected from killing and injury, under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

If any of your readers do have concerns, please contact the Oxfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group via our website.

We are always very happy to follow up on any possible adder sighting (or indeed any other amphibian or reptile records).

However, sadly, given the plight of this iconic creature, to date all have turned out to be grass snakes or slow worms (actually a legless lizard), both of which are entirely harmless (unless you are a slug or snail).

Dr ANGELA JULIAN, Secretary, OxARG, Gidley Way, Horspath

 

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Contact Us

For more information please contact:

Dr Angela Julian
Secretary OxARG
82 Gidley Way
Horspath
Oxford
OX33 1TG
Tel: 01865 872162
Email: info@oxfordshire-arg.org.uk
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Latest News

Adders need protection not persecution: In response to this article: http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/9729655.Family_s_shock_after_dog_is_biten_by_adder/ I AM writing in response to recent concerns over adders that have been expressed by the Health Protection Agency, and your report (Monday’s Oxford Mail) about a dog being bitten in Wantage. We would like to reassure readers that the risk of an adder bite is infinitesimally... read more >>