North East Reptile and Amphibian Group (NERAG)

About Us

NERAG was set up in the Autumn of 2007 by members of staff from the EYE project based at the Hancock museum in Newcastle upon Tyne and several other people with a passion for herpetofauna.

The principle aims of NERAG are to identify and record existing and new populations of herpetofauna throughout the North East. These records are accessible to those with an interest in wildlife management, habitat enrichment and conservation as well as developers, land owners and the general public.

If you're interested in joining, come along to one of our monthly meeting or enquire about our field trips and how to get involved with the constant effort surveys. Email any enquiries to;


Join in on a Bio-Blitz

Written on Monday 23rd May, 2011
Bio-Blitz at Thornley Woods on Sat 4th June 2011.

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve Open Day- NERAG stall.

Written on Friday 20th May, 2011
10.30 to 3.30. Sat July 2nd
NERAG helpers needed.
Event is open to all.

Monthly Talk: re-run of Amphibian decline

Written on Tuesday 17th May, 2011
Due to popular demand we have arranged a re-run of the talk done at Jesmond Dene earlier this year

"'Amphibian decline and extinction: What we know and what we need to learn: Case study focusing on Chytridiomycosisby 'Dr Michael J Sweet"

Please note this talk will be at Durham Wildlife Trust at Rainton Meadows, starting 7:30 on Wed 18th May.

Amphibian decline and extinction: What we know and what we need to learn 14th March at 19:30 by DR Michael Sweet

Written on Monday 7th March, 2011
ABSTRACT: For over 350 million years thousands amphibian species have lived on Earth. Since the 1970s amphibians have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly. What is causing these declines and extinctions? In the modern era (post 1500) there are six leading causes of biodiversity loss in general and all of these acting alone or together are responsible for modern amphibian declines—commercial use, introduced/exotic species that compete with, prey on, and parasitize native frogs and salamanders, land use change, contaminants, climate change, and infectious disease. The first three causes are historical in the sense that they have been operating for hundreds of years, although the rate of change due to each accelerated greatly after about the mid-twentieth century. Contaminants, climate change, and emerging infectious diseases are modern causes suspected of being responsible for the so-called “enigmatic decline” of amphibians in protected areas. Introduced/exotic pathogens, land use change, and infectious disease are the three causes with a clear role in amphibian decline as well as extinction; thus far, the other three causes are only implicated in decline and not extinction. Arguable the greatest concern for amphibians worldwide is Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus that is an emerging infectious disease causing amphibian population decline and species extinction. Historically, pathogens have not been seen as a major cause of extinction. But Bd is an exception, which is why it is such an interesting, important pathogen to understand. The late twentieth and early twenty-first century global biodiversity loss is characterized as a Sixth Extinction Event. Amphibians are a striking example of these losses as they disappear at a rate that greatly exceeds historical levels. Consequently, modern amphibian decline and extinction is a lens through which we can view the larger story of biodiversity loss and its consequences.


National Amphibian Survey

Written on Sunday 20th February, 2011
Focusing on the great crested, palmate and smooth newts, the common frog and the common toad, the National Amphibian Survey aims to provide an insight into the conservation status of these species across the UK. Visits undertaken by surveyors will not only require the recording of species, but also an assessment on habitat quality. The survey will require between one and three visits to an allocated pond, during the day or evening, in appropriate weather conditions in the spring.  To learn more about the National Amphibian survey please click here.

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North East Reptile and Amphibian Group
C/o: Communication and Events officer: Michael Sweet

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