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.
The CRAG AGM 2016 took place at the Hawkins Arms, Zelah on Thursday 22nd September.
We discussed the success of recent events and plans for future events, and recent conservation activities by CRAG, SINNG and Cornwall College Newquay.
As Paul Diamond has stepped down as chair and Tamsin Lee has moved away, a new chair and secretary were appointed. This resulted in many of the committee members taking on different roles or new responsibilities. Our new chair is now Chris White and Nicola Morris is our new secretary, assisted by Steve Green.
We voted on whether CRAG should be affiliated with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. As most of the committee members felt that it was important for us to remain independent as a group, we declined to become affiliated.
Helen gave us an update on her work with Sand Lizards and their habitat management.
Full minutes available:
Details of the next Herpetofauna Workers Meeting have recently been announced. Get your tickets before they're snapped up!
This is one of the biggest herp events in the UK and a great way to develop new skills, network and learn something new about our native herps.
The event will take place over two days, Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February 2016, at the Oxford Hotel in Oxford.
Visit the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust's website for more information: http://www.arc-trust.org/news/latest-news/HWM2016
CRAG held their 2015 AGM at the Hawkins Arms, Zelah on Wednesday 18th November. The minutes have been sent out to CRAG members and are available on the Facebook page. To summarize:
CRAG held their AGM on 18th May. The details of which will be circulated to all members. In summary the committee remains exactly as it was. Membership fees have been increased to the staggering sum of £5.00pa. Providing an adult is a full member of CRAG, children under 16 do not have to pay a membership fee and can attend events / activities with a parent or an individual in loco parentis.
The need for ‘members’ to complete an application form was emphasised again as without this you are not a member and therefore not eligible to attend activities / events. So if you have not done so please do so now.
Cathy kindly organised an activity at the Penhale MOD site in north Cornwall. 18 members attended and all agreed it was an thoroughly enjoyable morning. Under Cathy’s guidance we found a number of slow worms and two grass snakes. Unfortunately, we did not encounter any adders. This was particularly frustrating as we were later informed by the botanical group who were following an hour or so behind us, that they had discovered an adder basking next to one of our tins!!
Having completed the reptile survey Cathy guided us to a shallow pool and aided by Kat and Nicola proceeded to demonstrate the art of pond dipping. Several palmate newts were caught along with palmate larvae and numerous aquatic creatures.
A discussion lead by the intrepid trio focussed on the need for bio-security when leaving sites to avoid contaminating other sites with invasive and non-native species.
The next event which is being organised by Paul Smith is eagerly awaited and will focus on reptiles and hopefully adders will feature this time.
On Saturday 16th June CRAG members joined other keen naturalists at the Tremough Campus to help locate and identify the biodiversity of species on campus. Not the best of weather, but a good time was had and a few species added to the continually growing species count. However it give the opportunity to scope out the site with a veiw to making areas more reptile and amphibian freindly. At the time the group left the species count had just gone over the 200 mark.
CRAG members went on to visit Argal and College Reservoirs to scope out the possibilities of carrying out surveys on the sites.
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.