CRAG - Cornwall Reptile & Amphibian Group
CRAG aims to increase awareness and action on behalf of Cornwall's reptiles (snakes and lizards) and amphibians (frogs, toads and newts)
Its activities include
The group is open to anyone who would like to be involved with amphibian and reptile conservation in Cornwall.
A small annual subscription of £5.00 is payable by all Members, except students who can currently become a member for £1. New members are welcome to apply to join at any time. Click the Membership tab for full details.
CRAG is affiliated to the Amphibian & Reptile Groups of UK.
Please record all sightings of reptiles and amphibians seen in and around Cornwall - that includes non-natives such as terrapins. The easiest way to do this is to click on the 'Record a sighting' tab above and fill out the form. Although we love watching these animals from a safe distance, sadly not everyone appreciates them so please remember never to share exact locations on social media.
CRAG are hosting a series of monthly talks via Zoom. You can book your free space via Eventbrite to watch live, or catch up with past talks on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcm-H3NyOaQAcqSVfidsL4A
CRAG members receive email updates when a new talk is coming up. You can also check our Events tab, or CRAG's Eventbrite group here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/cornwall-reptile-and-amphibian-group-crag-32323047513
Thank you to everyone who entered such beautiful photos into the CRAG photography competition 2020. You may have seen the winners images already. All winners received a year's free membership to CRAG. Winners of the adult class also received a copy of Howard Inns Britain's Reptiles and Amphibians and our children's class winner received ARG UK's Adders are Amazing Activity Pack along with the complete collection of the Frog and Toad books. Our judging panel had a difficult task choosing the winners and it was very close. We look forward to launching the 2021 competition in the coming months.
Huge congratulations to our winners: -
Jasper Wicks - Winner of the children's class
Laura Snell - Winner of the over 18's class
Ellie Smart - Runner up in the over 18's class
Well done to everyone who entered. Keep an eye out for your photos on our social media pages over the coming months.
We are very excited to announce our very first photography competition!
No matter what your age or photography experience, we want to see your photographs of Cornwall's amazing reptiles and amphibians! We even have prizes for the best shots!
If interested make sure to check the rules of the competition on the poster. The competition is open till the 1st November, so you have plenty of time to get that shot!
In light of the coronavirus outbreak all group surveys and meetings will be postponed until further notice. This is in line with Government advice and that issued by ARG UK. Please follow the link below to read our latest advice:
Thank you to those who kindly offered to lead survey trips over the coming weeks. Whilst we all want to head out and enjoy the season we can't put anyone at risk and the health and safety of our members is paramount. Providing members follow current advice on coronavirus and our lone working procedures Site Champions can continue to monitor local sites but all group work is suspended.Wishing you good health and I look forward to seeing you as soon as we are able to meet for a survey.
Earlier this year, CRAG invested in a set of nets, trays and other pond dipping equipment for amphibian surveys and educational activities. CRAG members have already used the kit extensively at various events, including regular community pond dips at Treloggan, Newquay, led by Teri Nicholls.
Meanwhile, Mark and Tricia Nicholson have been leading a project at Goonhavern School, which their granddaughter attends, to restore the school’s disappearing pond and bring it back into use. Pond dipping sessions using the CRAG kit have been invaluable in generating staff and pupil enthusiasm, awareness and involvement.
The pond was choked by reeds, smothered by the invasive non-native Crassula weed and half-covered by brambles, leaving hardly any water. Gradual clearance of this vegetation has brought the pond back to life, with each dipping day revealing a greater abundance and diversity of creatures.
Dealing with Crassula will be an ongoing issue, as this species grows on both water and land and is very difficult to control. It can recolonise a pond – or colonise another pond if transferred – from a small leaf fragment. All weed removed from the pond is being composted on-site in black plastic bags. If totally deprived of sunlight, it should die after several months.
To avoid the spread of invasive plants and diseases from one pond to another, the kit is thoroughly checked for plant fragments, cleaned and dried between events and outings.
The next CRAG evening talk will be on Thursday 29th April at 7pm. This month we welcome Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Andy Nelson to talk about the Dynamic Dunescapes conservation project and how you can get involved. Tickets are available by clicking the link below. This free event will be held via Zoom.
Many of us know and love sand dunes as beautiful coastal landscapes, but they are also one of the most threatened habitats in Europe for biodiversity loss. Dynamic Dunescapes, an ambitious conservation project funded by the EU LIFE Programme and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, works on coastal dunes across England and Wales for people and wildlife. Led in Cornwall by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, the project works in two locations: The Towans, near Hayle and Penhale Dunes, near Perranporth. Join Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s People Engagement Officer Andy Nelson as he talks about how the project is both using pioneering conservation techniques and striving to engage with the public about these amazing places. Dunes are hugely valuable habitats for reptiles and amphibians and these sites are no exception.
For general enquiries please contact:
Chair - Nicola Morris - email@example.com
For question relating to the ecology of amphibians and reptiles in Cornwall please contact our Scientific Officer (see details below).
CRAG is always looking for new volunteers to help with habitat management and species monitoring. If you would like to get involved, please contact our Chair.