Welcome to the Norfolk Amphibian and Reptile Group (Norfolk ARG) website.
The Norfolk ARG is a grassroots conservation group formed of volunteers, aiming to help improve the knowledge and the conservation status of reptiles and amphibians in Norfolk. We are one of a number of ARG groups across the country, all working under the ‘ARG-UK’ umbrella.
The core objectives of the organisation are:
Conservation of Norfolk's reptiles and amphibians
Monitoring of a number of key sites
Advising and consulting
Education and training (for both members and the public)
We are always on the lookout for new members to help achieve these aims, no experience is necessary as we can provide full training. Some of our activities are very hands on and others are desk-based allowing everyone to get involved not matter their ability or time commitments.
Each year, the Freshwater Habitats Trust launches a national project to track the phenology of amphibians, by asking members of the public to record when they see amphibian spawn and tadpoles. We're happy to say that this project is now live for 2021! You can find more information on the Spawn Survey 2021 website by clicking this link, including how to identify amphibians and their spawn.
It's important to track the phenology of amphibians as it helps to indicate how their breeding season may be affected by climate change. Usually the Freshwater Habitats Trust doesn't launch the survey until later in the year, but given the mild winter we've had this year, amphibians are already breeding and laying spawn in some parts of the country. Therefore please keep an eye out in your garden pond or along country tracks for the signs of spawn and record them using the link above!
NARG will be having a stall at this OPAL project event - we will be collecting local records of amphibians and reptiles and displaying information about frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes found in our county.
Native Norfolk herpetofauna includes the adder (Vipera berus); barred grass snake (Natrix helvetica); slow worm (Anguis fragilis); common/viviparous lizard (Zootoca vivipara); common frog (Rana temporaria); common toad (bufo bufo); natterjack toad (Bufo calamita); great crested newt (Triurus cristatus); palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus) and smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris).
Norfolk is also the reintroduction site for the native pool frog (Pelophylax lessonae) which became extinct in the UK. A 2005 reintroduction project saw specimen brought over from Sweden to re-establish a UK population, a second population has since been establised. This work has been undertaken by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.
Like many other counties, Norfolk is also home to populations of non-native herpetofauna species such as the midwife toad (Alytes obstetricans). It is important to monitor these species and to study their impact on our native species.