DRAG aims to raise awareness and understanding of the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, in Devon and the UK, through reptile and amphibian recording, and habitat management work. DRAG aims to bring together people with an interest in reptiles and amphibians.
If you would like to find out more about reptiles and amphibians in Devon, ask for advice or want to get involved with events and surveys, please get in touch!
If you are interested in becoming a DRAG member, send us your details so we can add you to our mailing list for exciting events and activities that are not always advertised on the website.
Any self respecting group would not be complete without a snappy logo, so thanks to Vicky Buller who’s creative lizard design was voted as the best by DRAG members. Well done and thanks Vicky!
DRAG membership is free! However, we are looking to charge a small fee/donation for our events to cover the costs of promotional materials, equipment or room hire for events.
A Membership Secretary is still required though Paul Forshaw has kindly volunteered to be our data base manager. Please send Paul (firstname.lastname@example.org) your contact details for our database to ensure you are included when new events are released, not all our events are advertised on the web.
Volunteers are always welcome to help with surveys and/or any other aspect of running DRAG and events. We want your ideas!Mabel Cheung
Since 1994 the sand lizard (or Lacerta agilis agilis to give it its scientific name) has quietly enjoyed the sand and marram tussocks of Dawlish Warren’s dunes. An open secret since the release of around 40 adults at Warren Point, it has slowly spread along the sandspit. But how far has it spread?
On Sunday 17th April a small band of DRAG members bravely turned out (in perfect weather) to help me find out. As at least half of the group hadn’t seen a sand lizard before, our first job was to find a suitably obliging individual prepared to gawped at by an over excited group of herpers!
Luckily we quickly came across a superb male, who proceeded to trot up and down in front of the assembled team (and a large loud family group) showing off his vivid green flanks and giving the impression it was going to be a walk in the park! Sadly the first part of the walk proved to be an exercise in me saying “ah there is often one here...” and “hmm perhaps it too hot...” The limited sightings of females and common lizards could have been an identification pitfall for the survey to come had it not been for the thoughtful provision of some ID pictures (thanks Stephen!).
And so to the survey. After a brief scuffle, the site was portioned up and pairs of surveyors set off to various parts of the site with instructions to record all lizards seen. I can now reveal that…….I haven’t fully collated the results but at least 11 individual sand lizards were seen, which is pretty good considering how hot is was but the middle of the day (thermometer in my car read 18 degrees centigrade).
Thank you all that took part I will produce a master map and email out to everyone. For those that saw it I guess the highlight was the pair of males fighting or the pair in courtship mode (both along a stretch of the path we’d all just walked along!).
I understand a lot more people wanted to come on the event and I hope we can run one later in year. In the mean time if you are visiting the Warren, do call into the visitor centre and one of the Rangers will point you in the right direction.
Steve Ayres, Ranger, Dawlish Warren NNR
“Wednesday 9th February until Saturday 12th March. 32 days. Commitment 18:15hrs until 21:15hrs involving a minimum of 5/6 persons nightly.
It came very much of a surprise when a small number of toads were spotted on Wednesday evening the 9th February. Numbers increased for two or three nights but as usual weather conditions played their part and there followed a break of several days. Activity increased once more but yet again there were breaks and the exercise finally came to a close on Saturday 12th March by which time we had achieved creditable results. 1257 toads, 9 frogs, 27 newts, and 52 fatalities.
Thanks are due to the Ebford faithful and some very welcome newcomers who approached the exercise with good humour, commitment and patience despite the disappointment on some evenings when numbers collected were very low. Assistance was forthcoming from nearby villages of Clyst St. George, Clyst St. Mary, Woodbury followed by Exeter, Exmouth, Crediton and Honiton. Without this help we could not have coped and my grateful thanks go to these volunteers who travelled many miles to support us and so kept losses to a minimum. On occasions an hour of searching on a soulless and miserable evening provided a reward of 3 toads but on other occasions a pick-up in excess of 50 was achieved.”
Dick and Suzanne Downer
Upcoming events will be listed here.