Hampshire is fortunate that the county covers a huge geographic area and a very diverse breadth of habitat including: the Isle of Wight, the New Forest National Park, the South Downs National Park, as well as many other unspoiled areas, including Woolmer Forest.
It is therefore unsurprising that we are host to 12 out of the 13 native amphibians and reptiles in UK, including rarities such as the Natterjack Toad, Sand Lizard and Smooth Snake, and wherever you live in the county there will be opportunities to survey and monitor an assemblage of amphibian and reptile species.
HIWARG is an newly affiliated independent ARG-UK group. The group focus is conservation of native UK species essentially around habitat management, surveying, public engagement, volunteer training & doing as much as possible to understand & protect the native species in the county.
All members are volunteers with a common interest.
If you have some spare time and would like to be involved with HIWARG, maybe you have taken a photo of a reptile or amphibian and would like it identified or maybe you have some other query, then please do get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSERVATION THROUGH EMPATHY BY ENGAGEMENT
In the world of nature conservation, the potentially devastating effect of invasive species on native ecosystems is a constant topic of discussion. There has been much recent discussion around the post-Brexit nature and biodiversity strategy, including EU Regulation 1143/2014 - on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) - which came into force on 1st January 2015. It has yet to be clarified how the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern, which is central to this Regulation, will be updated and administered when the UK leaves the EU.
Further restrictions may be applied on keeping, selling, breeding and growing, which may result in many reptile breeders being forced to keep their animals for life, rather than give them away or sell them. Consequently, this has the potential to result in many animals being abandoned into the wild. To address some of these concerns, Hadlow College have launched a citizen science project, in association with the British Herpetological Society (BHS), to collect data from the general public on introduced turtle and terrapin species in the UK.
More information on the Turtle Tally and a link to the survey can be found at https://www.hadlow.ac.uk/turtletally
Thu, 12 November 2020 19:30 – 21:00 GMT
Focusing on the novel form of chytrid, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal). Presented by Alice Pawlik (Trustee, ARG UK), the seminar will open with an overview of the current status of amphibian diseases in the UK, from Joseph Heaver at the Institute of Zoology (ZSL)based on findings from the Garden Wildlife Health programme.
We will then focus more closely on the epidemiology of Bsal, a new form of chytrid that has virtually extirpated wild fire salamanders from parts of continental Europe, and may pose a threat to some of our native newts should it enter wild populations in UK.
We will be hearing from Annamarieke Spitzen (RAVON), and Stefano Canessa (Wildlife Health Ghent), who will discuss the difficulties of responding to, and managing an aggressive amphibian disease in the light of experiences from Southern Europe. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion with an opportunity for participants to ask questions or raise other points. (Images copyright Sam Kelly and Steve Allain).
Please note this is an online event powered by Zoom. With thanks to The Garfield Weston Foundation, who have kindly sponsored our evening on Amphibian Diseases.
Simply click here to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/arg-uk-autumn-seminar-series-amphibian-diseases-tickets-113833426844
If you've ever wanted to cuddle up to an adder, but don't fancy all the bitey stuff, pop over to the new and sparkly HIWARG Redbubble shop and buy one of the adder design cushions. While you are there, check out the different designs and the oodles of goodies for personal treats or for Christmas and birthday presents. Don't forget to share with friends and families as well.
Visit the shop at http://www.redbubble.com/people/hiwarg/portfolio
ARG UK are adding recordings of their successful Autumn Seminar Series to their YouTube account.
So far they have uploaded:
District Level Licencing – a new approach to managing great crested newts in the planning system
More will be added over time, so if you missed out or want to revisit any of these interesting seminars, visit ARG UK's Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCACtKecaEbK7Yd-9GdZW3jQ
HCS have their own portal directly into ARGWEB and have been using the data from our surveys to aid their planning towards improving the habitat for various species and now have evidence based information related to herps on the sites. The fact that they specifically recognise reptiles in the release is an encouraging sign. We'll continue to survey these areas and provide important feedback over the following years.
We also plan be setting up joint volunteer activities with the local HCS commons volunteers again during winter so look out for the events.
"We appreciate that these works can sometimes seem quite destructive and can initially be visually unappealing, however, after a relatively short period of time and with some targeted follow-up management the open heathland habitats begin to flourish and species typically associated with them start to utilise the additional habitat available to them. It is hoped that within 3-5 years heathland habitats within these areas will have re-stablished and in fact have begun to flourish."
To read the full blog post by the Yateley Ranger Team visit Heathland Restoration 2020
Upcoming events will be listed here.