Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (HertsARG) is a new organisation established to involve the public in the conservation and recording of reptiles and amphibians. We are developing links with other local conservation groups in order to complete projects and develop records for the County. It is anticipated that we will affiliate to ARG UK and work closely with the County recorder to develop these aims.
Over the coming months we hope there will be news of a number of interesting and valuable conservation and research projects. Should you wish to become involved, or simply to be kept updated of progress, please email your contact details to email@example.com.
If you have any questions or ideas for future work, or know of a site you think may be of interest, let us know!
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH IF YOU:
- KNOW OF ANY RELEASED REPTILES OR AMPHIBIANS.
- ARE STRUGGLING TO KEEP YOUR REPTILES OR AMPHIBIANS (PARTICULARLY TURTLES AND TERRAPINS).
- HAVE SPOTTED A STRANGE SNAKE OR OTHER REPTILE.
Latest speaker to come to HertsARG
Rob Ward, from Kent University, joined us this week to tell us about his work with the Grass Snakes of Jersey. It was interesting to hear about the amount of survey effort that has gone into collecting his data, invloving many volunteers from the island. Of particular interest was his account of the radio tracking of snakes, which showed just how far some individual animals could travel in a relatively short space of time.
Grass Snakes are Hertfordshire's only snake species, and are totally harmless. They will be a target species for the distribution data being collated, and Rob has offered his help and advice in surveying these and other reptile species over the coming years.
Atlas progress 2015
Hertfordshire Wildlife Atlas
2015 sees the start of a county wide survey effort, co-ordinated by Hertfordshire Natural History Society (HNHS), the University of Hertfordshire (UH), the Biological Records Centre(BRC)/Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust (HMWT) to update the excellent Atlas of the the county's Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians, published in 2000. Further details can be found here: http://www.hnhs.org/view_news.php?id=102
This is being organised on a Tetrad basis, with people being allocated 2x2km squares across the county, with people being asked to submit data to the BRC. We have already co-ordinated one training day for willing volunteers, which took place in early February, with more planned (see events). If you wish to have further training in reptile and amphibian (herpetological) field techniques, or Mammal ID skills as well as a generally interesting day with like minded people, please come along and get started on your surveying!
The survey will take place over 5 years, and you don't have to restrict yourself to your tetrad when submitting data! Please get involved!
2015 promises to be the busiest year so far for HertsARG. Activities are going to include;
- GCN surveying courses
- Reptile and Amphibian ID courses.
- Frequent countywide visits in order to survey for presence of Herpetofauna.
- HertsARG representation at conferences worldwide.
- Proctical conservation and habitat restoration work.
Please get in touch if you are interested!
Unwanted Terrapins: Hertfordshire Turtle trapping
The problem caused by ready availability and the various "crazes" associated with pet turtles or terrapins, is well known. Animals are bought when small, often following bad advice from pet shops and aquatic centres, and grow to be large, demanding reptiles. Often, when that little creature (which was cute when the size of a 50p coins) is 10" long, eating loads, smelling badly and maybe even nipping fingers, people feel less inclined to keep them. And that is when they get dumped . . .
Recently, a local animal rescue contacted me on behalf of a local Council. They have asked that some terrapins, illegally dumped in a pond, be removed, for the welfare of the animals as well as the impact they may be having on the environment.
Therefore, HertsARG has now constructed (and is refining) a turtle trap, which is a humane method of catching basking turtles - a sort of floating basket- in order that they can be safely removed. Catching these animals is proving tricky, but the work is ongoing!
If you know of any illegally released terrapins please let us and we can try to help.
If you have turtles/terrapins (or any reptile/amphibian) which you are struggling to keep and are thinking of releasing PLEASE get in touch. You won't get into trouble but we have contacts and resources which we can use to help you out.07581121270
Record your Sightings
David Willis - Founder
(Please email for details, upcoming projects and any unwanted animals)
Mammal Amphibian and Reptile Atlas (MARA) and Herp record queries;
Dr Chantal Helm or Mr Ian Flack
University of Hertfordshire
We'll announce our events here...