Affiliated to ARG UK, OxARG is the local amphibian and reptile group for Oxfordshire. Our members are drawn from a range of backgrounds including: enthusiastic amateur naturalists, professional ecologists, professional conservationists, statutory agencies, toad patrollers - and folk who enjoy looking at frogs in their garden pond. Everyone is welcome!! In addition to our individual members, we also have close links with a number of local wildlife groups, including: the wildlife trust (BBOWT), Oxford Urban Wildlife Group, Friends' of Lye Valley, Friends’ of Aston’s Eyot, Friends' of the Trap Grounds and Shotover Wildlife.
Every year we run a number of training events, for amphibians and reptiles for OxARG members. As well as our own events, we also attend events run by other organisations including: 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 amphibian training courses for OxARG members in partnership with BBOWT.
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.
The 2013 Herpetofauna Workers meeting will be held at Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh this year. We are hoping for lots of support – from all sides of the border (and further afield) – so please put this date into your diaries. We will be in touch very soon with more information and costs.
Advance notice of the Wales Amphibian and Reptile Symposium in Llandrindod Wells on the 3rd November 2012. This meeting is open to anyone with an interest in Welsh herpetofauna and their conservation (programme attached). Spaces are limited, and there is a reduced fee for early booking. Please register at www.welshdragons.org.
The ARG UK Midlands regional meeting is to be held on Saturday 22 September 2012. The venue is the Gallery Suite at Conkers Waterside Centre, Bath Lane, Moira. There will be presentations on capturing great crested newts, adder DNA studies, recording herps, melanistic snakes, and more, including our very own Dr Rob Oldham speaking on the toads of Coleorton. There will also be round-ups from each of the county ARGs across the Midlands, and a chance to speak to others interested in herps. Attendance for the day costs £6 for LARN members, and this includes refreshments. A booking form will be circulated shortly, to be returned to Derbyshire ARG.
Thames Water are holding a family day at Farmoor on Sunday 16th September. The day includes a 'bioblitz' that will run between 6am and midnight, although don't worry there is no need to be there all day, if you can spare an hour that would be great!
Our day on the 16th will include a bird ringing demo, guided birdwatching walks, bug hunts, pond dipping, small mammal trapping, plant surveys, reptile surveys, moth trapping, badger watch and a bat walk. We will also have a small marquee up for stands by various conservation bodies. It promises to be a fantastic day, so do come along and bring your families! For further info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or turn up on the day