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

Campaign to protect grass snakes

Posted on Friday 10th October, 2014

Jersey’s only native snake is the focus of a campaign which aims to save it from extinction. Our Island’s rarest reptile, the non-venomous and harmless grass snake is threatened with extinction unless steps are taken to conserve the species.

The ‘Think Grass Snake’ campaign is run by the Department of the Environment together with a number of partners. It aims to raise awareness of the grass snake and to persuade people to report their sightings of snakes and slow-worms. This data will be used in a study, with the ultimate aim of halting the decline of these native reptiles.

There is a campaign website which has a quick, online survey people can submit any sightings to. The site also provides facts and resources about amphibian and reptiles and how to encourage them. There is also a dedicated telephone line for people to call if they see a grass snake.

The campaign will initially be focused on the western side of the island and will be rolled out to other parishes next year.

The campaign, which is funded by a number of companies, charities and not for profit organisations, is led by doctoral student Rob Ward who is studying for a PhD on Jersey’s grass snakes and slow-worms with the University of Kent.

He said: “I’m very keen to hear from the public and learn about any of their sightings or encounters with both grass snakes and slow-worms.

“My main aim is to determine how many grass snakes are left in the Island, where they are, why Jersey’s grass snakes are so rare, and what we can do to improve their conservation status locally.

“If by raising awareness we can help people understand what to look for and then to share their information, this will make a real contribution to the protection of grass snakes.”

The Department of the Environment is appealing for help from the public to assist Mr Ward, so he can build a clearer picture of where grass snakes and slow-worms live and how to protect them.

Islanders who spot a grass snake can contact the spotline on +44 (0)1534 441628.

http://www.thinkgrasssnake.je/


Book now - training event 9 February 2013

Posted on Thursday 31st January, 2013

Training to help people find out more about how to protect amphibians and reptiles in Jersey is being offered by the Jersey Amphibian & Reptile Group (JARG) and the Department of the Environment.

 

JARG has organised a day of talks, workshops and training for existing and new volunteers to learn about local amphibians and reptiles. Each year there is a different focus to highlight a species or issue relevant to conservation in Jersey. For 2013, the focus will be on newts, with an emphasis on how to find them when conducting surveys. The aim is to collect enough information to use to judge future trends and, where necessary, take action to conserve the species for the future.  Speakers at the event include:

 

1015 -1030    John Wilkinson, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation, “The newts at ten”.

 

1030 - 1100   Brett Lewis, University of Kent  - DICE, “Is Great  crested newt   mitigation  working? An evidence based approach”. 

 

1100 - 1130   Richard Griffiths , University of Kent - DICE “Detecting population changes in newts: How much survey effort if needed?”.

 

1130 - 1200  Nina Cornish, States of Jersey, “Jersey Newt Hunt”.

 

1200 - 1300   Lunch

 

1300 –1330   Nina Cornish, States of Jersey, “Jersey National Amphibian and Reptile Recording  Scheme (NARRS) Update”.

 

John Wilkinson, Amphibian & Reptile Conservation - Workshops

Training in amphibian and reptile  identification, habitat assessment, survey methods, survey protocols, recording, health & safety will be provided.

1330 - 1430   Amphibian Surveying

1430 - 1530  Reptile Surveying     

1530 - 1600    Any other business, close

 

In the afternoon, the focus will be on Jersey’s National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (see www.narrs.org.uk), a partnership project which has been running in Jersey for five years, led by the UK’s ARC group. This practical part of the day will provide information about guidelines and best practice for identifying and surveying amphibians and reptiles.

 

Research ecologist Nina Cornish said: ‘Events such as this ensure that Jersey is compliant with international responsibilities such as the Convention on Biological Diversity. They encourage public appreciation and awareness of amphibians and reptiles by giving people the chance to become involved in wildlife recording and conservation. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of amphibians and reptiles and it’s a really good example of Jersey’s Biodiversity Partnership in action.


Nina added: ‘This informal group of organisations and individuals
work together for the benefit of species and habitats which are under threat or in need of special attention, and provide a range of strategies and targets for their conservation – which is the case with the newt.  It all helps maintain biodiversity which is essential in order to preserve our natural plants and wildlife’.


Toadwatch 2012

Posted on Friday 30th March, 2012

Islanders urged to keep their eyes open for toads as Toadwatch 2012 launches

 

Toadwatch Campaign is making their annual call for the public to be vigilant as the breeding season for the Island’s not-so Common Toad (Bufo bufo) begins.


Over the next few months, the Toadwatch Campaign is once again asking members of the public to send in records and reports of toad, tadpole and toad spawn sightings in and around their gardens and ponds. Any information about toad sightings, ponds with toads or ponds that were previously used as spawning sites but have now become dormant, can be sent to toadwatch@durrell.org or left as a detailed message on the Toadwatch line 860053.

 

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the States of Jersey Department of the Environment and the Jersey Amphibian & Reptile Group (JARG) have collaborated for a number of years towards the conservation of Jersey’s only toad. The Toadwatch Campaign has been running for the past seven years and Islanders’ records have helped build an accurate picture of where the toads are breeding.

 

Importantly, the campaign has also been identifying those ponds that no longer contain any signs of toads. Toadwatch coordinator Wendy Van Neste says “By studying ponds over a period of time, vital information can be gained on the distribution and movement of amphibians in Jersey”.

 

Sometimes during this time of year ponds can seem over crowded with tadpoles. This is a normal situation. Toads and tadpoles are important natural prey for lots of birds, reptiles and aquatic insects. By laying lots of spawn the toad ensures that they will survive the many perils they face especially in the first few weeks of life. Only a fraction of those tadpoles you see will hop out as toadlets. There is no such things as too many tadpoles.

 

Jersey’s toads rely on garden ponds. Toadwatch would like encourage the public to create more ‘toad-friendly areas’ by planting native plants and installing ponds. This can be easy and fun and, most importantly, it can make a real difference to the future of Jersey’s toads. Information on building wildlife ponds is available from Toadwatch or from Durrell http://www.durrell.org/In-the-field/Campaigns/Toadwatch/


The Year of the Lizard

Posted on Friday 30th March, 2012

As part of Jersey’s efforts to protect its local species, the Island takes part in the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) (www.narrs.org.uk). The scheme is a partnership project led by the UK’s Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Group (ARC-UK) and the Jersey Amphibian & Reptile Group (JARG). NARRS has been running in Jersey for five years and aims to tell us more about the status of the amphibian and reptile species across the British Isles and specifically here in Jersey.

 

Central to NARRS is the use of trained volunteers to collect the data. At annual training events, in the form of talks and workshops, interested volunteers are trained in NARRS species identification, survey methodologies and health and safety.  They are provided with a survey site, appropriate equipment and forms to fill in to help them complete their survey.

 

Every year NARRS highlights a species or issue relevant to conservation in the island. For 2012, to coincide with the Year of the Lizard and Jersey’s published biodiversity action plan, the focus is on the legless lizard known as the slow-worm.  These fascinating but secretive lizards are not slow at all, but live mainly in ant nests and under rotting wood etc. Slow-worms are the original gardener’s friend, drawn by the abundance of slugs and other food.

 

We are not sure how slow-worms in Jersey are doing at the moment because they are so under-recorded, so to improve our knowledge of these mysterious lizards, the Department of the Environment is running a Jersey slow-worm survey across the Island. The survey will help us to build up a picture of where slow-worms are distributed, their apparent attraction to compost sites, and what sort of conditions suits them best. It is important to stress that the slow-worm likes hiding under forms of refugia (usually corrugated metal sheets, roofing felt or carpet tiles) so to improve the chances of detecting them looking under any forms of existing refugia would be beneficial.

 

Records will be collected from gardens and compost heaps and used to work out what kinds of habitats slow-worms are using. We hope to collect enough information to establish information against which to judge future trends and, where necessary, take action to conserve the species for years to come.

If you would like to participate, please complete the attached form and return it to: Nina Cornish, Department of the Environment, Howard Davis Farm, Trinity, JE3 5JP. Or complete online at http://www.gov.je/Environment/ProtectingEnvironment/Land/Endangered/Pages/Sightings.aspx.

If you want to help with other amphibian and reptile surveys, you can find details at http://groups.arguk.org/jarg/.


We need your help!

Posted on Thursday 22nd March, 2012

Jersey Slow-worm survey

Please join our survey to help us find out more about the slow-worm in Jersey and its apparent attraction to compost. Drawn by the abundance of slugs and other food, slow-worms are the original gardener's friend. These shy and harmless animals look like small snakes but are in fact legless lizards.

Help us to build up a picture of how important compost heaps are to slow-worms and what sort of conditions suit them best. Hopefully we will collect enough information to establish a baseline to help us judge future trends and, where necessary, take action to conserve the species for the future.

Reptile and amphibian sightings

Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) in conjunction with Jersey’s Biodiversity Partnership has set up a recording database for reptiles and amphibians. Recording wildlife provides us with continual monitoring of the species found in Jersey. The records establish the distribution of species throughout Jersey, which help us to focus our conservation efforts where it is needed most.

http://www.gov.je/Environment/ProtectingEnvironment/Land/Endangered/Pages/Sightings.aspx

 

Toadwatch

Over the next few months, the Toadwatch Campaign is once again asking members of the public to send in records and reports of toad, tadpole and toad spawn sightings in and around their gardens and ponds. Any information about toad sightings, ponds with toads or ponds that were previously used as spawning sites but have now become dormant, can be sent to toadwatch@durrell.org or left as a detailed message on the Toadwatch line 860053.

 

http://www.durrell.org/In-the-field/Campaigns/Toadwatch/

 


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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