Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG)
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About us

About Us

The Group, formerly known as The Agile Frog Group, originally formed in 1993, it was then was renamed to Jersey Amphibian & Reptile Group, JARG, in 2007. The aims of JARG are to:

- Raise awareness of our 3 Amphibian Species and 4 Reptile Species.
- Collect and collate herpetofauna records, sharing these with www.recordpool.org.uk & www.jerseybiodiversitycentre.org.je
- Encourage the general public to report their herpetofauna sightings.
- Conserve the native amphibians and reptiles through study and direct action.
- Provide general advice on our amphibian and reptile species as well as their habitat management.

The Amphibian and Reptile Species found on Jersey are:


Amphibians

- The Jersey Toad aka Crapaud (Bufo spinosus)
- Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina)
- Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus)

Reptiles

- Grass Snake (Natrix helvetica)
- Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)
- Green Lizard (Lacerta bilineata)
- Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)

 

All 3 Amphibians and 4 Reptiles are protected under the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000.

 

Amphibians and reptiles suffer from a poor public image – feared by some people and simply misunderstood by many others. It is important to encourage public appreciation and awareness of amphibians and reptiles by providing the opportunity for people to become involved in wildlife recording and conservation.

Many people have never seen a lizard or a snake and would not know where to see one; yet with simple guidance, the experience could be brought to many people, whilst overcoming the negative perceptions that often hamper conservation efforts.

News

News

Round up of agile frog breeding season 2010

Posted on Tuesday 25th January, 2011
2010 has been a bumper year for agile frog spawn. A record breaking 125 clumps of spawn were recorded at sites at Ouaisne and Noirmont this spring, which is great news.

The frogs had a drier start to the year than 2009, but never the less after distribution of spawning branches in early February, 9 frogs were spotted within their proximity. The first frog spawn clumps appeared on Feb 15th and tens more were recorded in the following weeks. 18 clumps were found in the main pond area at Ouaisne. This is fantastic as no clumps have been found in this area since back in the 1990’s. Spawn was also found in a previously uninhabited slack. These finds suggest a healthy recovery of the agile frog population may be in progress. A steady upwards trend began in the years just after 2000 and in the last 3 years the number of clumps has been doubling annually!

The newt population also seems to be increasing, with many more spotted than in previous years. However, it cannot be certified that this increase is in relation to increasing frog numbers.

Unfortunately, the long dry spell of early summer caused many of the slacks used by the frogs to shrink in size, and some to dry out completely. In a normal year only around 2.3% of tadpoles survive to the froglet stage, and the dry spell will mean the journey to adulthood will be even more hazardous this year. Time will tell whether the high numbers of spawn recorded this spring will be enough to offset this additional challenge faced by the tadpoles. The tadpoles take 2-4 months to metamorphose, depending on water temperature and so should emerge in late summer.

In a Grouville pond in 2009, a clump of common frog spawn was found. This species is not native to the Island. Thankfully, this incident was spotted and reported by a observant member of the public and the spawn was subsequently removed. It is thanks to vigilance such as this that our local amphibians remain relatively safe from threats from invaders.

Licence now Required to Import Amphibians

Posted on Tuesday 25th January, 2011
As of February 2010, a licence is required to import amphibians into Jersey. This means that the Environment Department can now control which amphibians are entering the Island. Amphibians are the latest group to be added to the schedule of animals, such as foxes, grey squirrels and reptiles which require a licence.

One problem with bringing non-native amphibians into the Island is that there is a risk they may be carrying diseases. There is a risk that the natural amphibians of Jersey, such as the agile frog, could contract these foreign infections and their survival rate could potentially be reduced. A prominent worry is that the fatal fungal disease chytridomycosis will be introduced. The Island is currently free from the disease which is sweeping many other parts of the world, including the UK. The Diseases of Animals (Importation of Miscellaneous Goods) (Jersey) Order 1958, with its new reach to amphibians means that it will become easier to monitor the importation of all amphibians. There will obviously be particular interest in keeping out ‘chytrid’ fungus as well as other harmful diseases.

Foreign species can not only bring disease, but if released into the wild, intentionally or otherwise, can interfere with the survival of natives. This might be by competing with them for already limited habitat resources, for example.

In addition to controlling amphibians entering the Island, it is therefore of utmost importance that amphibian pets are not released into the wild. If these pets can no longer be cared for, the JSPCA Animal Shelter should be called, rather than anything being released. Please be vigilant, and if you spot any creatures which you suspect might be alien, please get in touch with the Environment Department.

Events

Events

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Pondwatch JE

Pondwatch JE

What is Pondwatch JE?

Jersey has three native amphibian species, and a host of other wildlife for which ponds are a vital habitat. Pondwatch JE is a new project that aims to gather sightings of Jersey’s pond life to help assess their conservation status, distribution and habitat requirements. Pondwatch JE is the successor to both the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) which ran in Jersey from 2007 to 2018 and Toadwatch which ran from 2005 to 2018. During this time volunteers provided a great deal of information which has been used to inform the design of Pondwatch JE as well as influence efforts to protect the species.

Pondwatch JE was launched at the 2019 Wild about Jersey event, you can review the presentation here: pdfPondwatch JE training presentation

 

How can you help?

There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, with 3 levels of surveys depending on your interest, available time and experience.

All surveys take place between January and May.

 

Level 1 – spend 30 minutes looking for wildlife in ponds and send us your results. No experience or training is required.

pdfPondwatch JE level 1 handbook

pdfLevel1 Pondwatch JE survey form 

 

Level 2 – carry out 5 surveys, each taking 30 to 60 minutes. You will search for amphibians and other pondlife at a pond using three methods; visual searches, netting and night time torch surveys. You do not need experience but you will need to attend a training event.

pdfPondwatch JE level 2 handbook

pdfPondwatch JE Level 2 survey form

pdfGrassland classifications guide is a summary of the key grassland habitats you may find in your survey area.

This guide is adapted from the UK Habitat Classification (UK Habitat Classification Working Group, 2018)

 

Level 3 – you will carry out multiple intensive surveys at known and suspected agile frog sites. You will also contribute to testing Jersey’s amphibians for diseases. This is for experienced surveyors only.

 

All Pondwatch JE surveys take place between January and May.

 

Water quality tests – you can help us assess the level of pollution in Jersey’s ponds using quick and simple test kits.

pdfPondwatch JE Water quality handbook

pdfPondwatch JE water quality form

 

Even if you don't have the time to commit to one of these surveys, you can still join in by recording any sighting you have and submit these as a casual record.

 

Getting started

Before starting your survey you will need to complete a volunteer working agreement and have written consent from the landowner.

pdfVolunteer Working Agreement

pdfLandowner Agreement.

 

Following the instructions in the appropriate level handbook, visit the site and modify the generic risk assessment as required for any risks associated with the site.

docGeneric Risk Assessment Template (ARG UK)

  

ID guides

A number of identification guides and information sources are available for you to download:

A guide to the identification of Jersey amphibians - pdfAmphibians of Jersey ID guide

A guide to the identification of Dragonfly and Damselfly - pdfDragonfly and damselfly ID guide

A summary of invasive non-native plants and a free e-learning course are available via the links below.

Invasive Non-Native aquatic plant species ID guides

Invasive Non-Native Species free e-learning course

For help with habitat classifications the UK Habitat Classification guidance is available from the ecountability.co.uk website.

 

 

 

Additional resources

docxPondwatch JE Introduction

pdfPondwatch JE training presentation

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reptilewatch JE

Reptilewatch JE

What is Reptilewatch JE?

Jersey has four native reptile species, some of which are rarely seen and are limited to certain habitats. Reptilewatch JE is a new project that aims to gather sightings of Jersey’s four native reptile species to help assess their conservation status, distribution and habitat requirements. Reptilewatch JE is the successor to the widespread reptile surveys undertaken as part of the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) which ran in Jersey from 2007 to 2018. During this time volunteers provided a great deal of information which has been used to inform the design of Reptilewatch JE as well as influence efforts to protect the species.

How can you help?

There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, with 3 levels of surveys depending on your interest, available time and experience.

 

Level 1 – spend 30 minutes looking for reptiles and send us your results. No experience or training is required.

pdfReptilewatch JE level 1 survey form

pdfReptilewatch JE level 1 handbook

 

Level 2, option 1 – carry out 6 surveys, each taking 1 to 2 hours. You will search for reptiles along a survey route and check artificial refugia (sheets of roofing material) for reptiles and other species. You will need training at one of our training events but no previous experience is needed.

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 survey form

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 widespread reptiles handbook

 

Level 2, option 2 – carry out 6 surveys, each taking 30 minutes. You will search for wall lizards at known and suspected wall lizard sites. You will need training at one of our training events but no previous experience is needed.

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 wall lizard survey form

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 wall lizard handbook

 

Level 3 – you will carry out multiple intensive surveys at known and suspected grass snake sites. This is for experienced surveyors only.

pdfReptilewatch level 3 handbook

All surveys take place between March and October.

 

If you currently do not have time to commit to carrying out these surveys please record any sighting you have and add a casual record

Getting started

Before starting your survey you will need to complete a volunteer working agreement and have written consent from the landowner.

pdfVolunteer Working Agreement

pdfLandowner Agreement.

Please complete and return the volunteer and landowner agreement forms to the Natural Environment Team before you get started.

 

The next step is to consider the risks associated with your survey and the surrounding area.

Please refer to the docGeneric risk assessment template and modify this as required.

How to survey

A reminder of the 2019 training presentation is provided here: pdfReptilewatch JE training presentation.

For survey guidance, please refer to the relevant handbook for the level of survey you are undertaking.

Additional help on habitat assessment of grassland areas is available here: pdfGrassland classifications

This guide is adapted from the UK Habitat Classification (UK Habitat Classification Working Group, 2018)

 

Reptilewatch JE Handbooks

pdfReptilewatch JE full handbook

pdfReptilewatch JE level 1 handbook

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 widespread reptiles handbook

pdfReptilewatch JE level 2 wall  lizard handbook

 

Reptilewatch JE ID Guides

A series of ID guides are provided to help with identifying the reptiles and other species you might find on your surveys.

pdfReptiles of Jersey ID guide

pdfBeetle ID guide

pdfCockroaches of Jersey ID guide

pdfSmall mammals of Jersey ID

For help with habitat classifications the UK Habitat Classification guidance is available from the ecountability.co.uk website.

 

 

 

Contact us

Contact Us

Contact Kristina Le Feuvre

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Upcoming Events

Upcoming events will be listed here.


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