Hampshire And Isle of Wight Amphibian and Reptile Group (HIWARG)
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About us

About Us

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 formed in the Autumn of 2018 and is an 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  info@hiwarg.org.uk 


CONSERVATION THROUGH EMPATHY BY ENGAGEMENT

 

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News

News

Big Green Frog Hunt 2022

Posted on Monday 2nd May, 2022

278874032 10160272623883057 2741040197175943514 nCITIZEN SCIENCE SURVEYS FOR THE NON-NATIVE WATER FROG SPECIES

Water or Green Frogs (Marsh F278874032_10160272623883057_2741040197175943514_n.jpgrog, Southern Clade Pool Frog and Edible Frog) have started calling in earnest again and are now entering their breeding period.

If you want to help us understand their distribution, which enables us to monitor their spread and potential impact if any, they are one of the easiest species to survey for. All you do is go for a walk alongside canals, ponds and other wetland areas on really sunny days and just listen out for their easily recognised calls. With a bit of patience you can get fairly close to take photos which also help with any IDs.

The map below shows the known locations of water frogs in Hampshire and across the borders into Dorset, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire and Wiltshire. You can use this map to plan your trip. Areas with good access for parking and walking and for hearing water frogs are Basingstoke Canal between Fleet and Farnborough, the Denny Wood area of the New Forest, the RSPB reserves near Selsey, W Sussex and the Alice Holt/Frensham Ponds area. Two other spots that would be good to clarify records are the Haverstock Road area of Bournemouth for DARN and the Afton area on the Isle of Wight.

Check out the videos of calling Marsh Frog and Pool Frogs which show the two vocal sacs that all of the Water Frogs have. The native Common Frog has a single, less obvious vocal sac in its throat.

Marsh Frog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyEhHLlVuQ8

Pool Frog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lGMvBj4mvE

You can also download the ARGUK/ARC amphibian ID guide which has a useful section on the Water Frogs https://www.arguk.org/info-advice/id-guides/441-amphibian-id-guide-revised-2019-pdf

Key ID features to differentiate from Common Frogs:

  • Marsh Frogs and Edible Frogs are larger than Common Frogs, but Pool Frogs are roughly the same size.
  • A much more pointed, conical nose
  • Eyes are closer together and more prominent
  • two obvious raised lines on the sides of the back
  • Sometimes has a green/yellow line down its spine
  • Lacking the dark patch behind the eyes
  • Very long back legs and can jump a considerable distance.
  • Calling very loudly during the day (watch above vids)

Pics have been added below to show the range of colouration and ID features.

I hope to arrange a couple of open events in a few weeks to survey targeted areas once we get a few records in so get recording on Record Pool and watch this space. https://www.recordpool.org.uk/

 

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BIG GREEN FROG HUNT

Posted on Saturday 24th July, 2021

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Help us to map the distribution of water frogs in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Visit our website, click on the "Record a Sighting" tab and log your observation. Unless your sighting has been ID'd by a specialist to species level, it is always best to record them as "water frogs" https://groups.arguk.org/hiwarg

Water frogs (also known as Green Frogs) are a complex of three non-native frogs:

  • Marsh frogs

  • Southern Pool frogs (Note: Northern Pool frogs are considered native and are a protected species, but are not found in Hampshire)

  • Edible frogs (hybrid of the above two species)

They are found in several locations around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, but our knowledge of their exact distribution or their impact on native species is poor. They have been known to carry the amphibian disease, Chytridiomycosis, but grass snake populations in particular seem to benefit anecdotally. We would like to understand more about the water frogs in Hampshire, IoW and in neighbouring counties. See the map below for where we have had one or more records and help us to expand on what we know.

Calls

You can listen to their calls, along with other amphibians here: https://www.froglife.org/drag.../animals/adults/adult-calls/

More info

You can read more information on Water/Green frogs here: https://www.froglife.org/.../amphibians-and.../green-frogs/

Or read up on their interbreeding dynamics on SARGs website here https://surrey-arg.org.uk/SARGWEB.php?app=WaterFrogs and their genetics here https://surrey-arg.org.uk/SARGWEB.php?app=WaterFrogGenetics

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Pit Stop Pond Surveys

Posted on Friday 18th June, 2021

PitstopPS web

Short fast torch surveys of easily accessible, public access ponds

Pit Stop Pond Surveys are a citizen science activity that anyone can take part in. The idea is to pre plan a route with maps to help identify ponds that are publicly accessible and within a short easy walk from your parked car. Ideally you can make a list of 3-5 ponds that you can visit in around an hour or so, getting to the first pond about twenty minutes after sunset. It is normally still a little too light for torching at this time, but it should only be about 20-30 minutes before it is optimum for torching. It is important to only survey when you have a buddy to accompany you and also let others know where you will be. Google Maps, Magic, or OS Maps are all good for planning your journey and identifying possible ponds. If you do turn up to the pond and you find that its on private land, do not be tempted to trespass. You can often find that ponds are dried up, no longer exist or are not suitable for wildlife, so don't feel too disappointed if this is the case.

At the pond, check the ground and surrounding area for hazards, such as weak edges, trip hazards, etc and make sure that you can easily see the edge of the pond. Also check that you will not be disturbing residents when you are shining torches about... ponds do reflect torchlight up, so angle your torch appropriately. It is also wise to not torch too late as this will upset residents and can cause friction, around 11pm should be late enough for surveying near houses. 

When you have completed your Pit Stop Pond Survey, you can add your sightings to https://www.recordpool.org.uk/ or ARGWEB if you are a HIWARG/local ARG member. If you need help identifying your sightings, try to take photographs or video where possible and use the guides on this website, under "Info and ID Guides". Alternatively, post the images and your questions on our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700 and we will try to help ID them for you.

 

 

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Amphibian Survey Training

Posted on Sunday 4th April, 2021

If you are interested in amphibian survey training in April, email info@hiwarg.org.uk and we will get back to you.

Training is limited to members only, but this is only £6 a year so a real bargain for what you can get out of your membership.


Amphibian Survey Training

Posted on Sunday 7th March, 2021

 

blank websiteTraining pic

I am looking at setting up some training sessions for paid members who want to start surveying HIWARG amphibian sites. The sessions will be for beginners and anyone wanting a bit more experience at survey techniques, IDs, etc.

The sessions will be a mix of online and (hopefully if the Govt's roadmap goes well) potentially some small socially distanced sessions at the end of the month/early April.

Comment on our Facebook post if you are interested, including your rough level of experience/expectations and I will start to make some plans.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700


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Join up or Log In

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Membership costs just £6.00 per year as a subscription that can be cancelled at any time. 
Your membership will help HIWARG to protect the amphibians & reptile of Hampshire. 
Be aware of and take part in conservation opportunities, surveys and many other activities across the county.

 

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Donate to HIWARG

Donate to HIWARG

You can help HIWARG achieve its goals by a simple donation towards our activities.
Donations are put towards equipment used for habitat management, surveys and public engagement such as printed material and fact sheets to hand out during educational events.

 

 

   

Info & ID guides

Info & ID guides

Policies/Health & Safety                                                              

pdfHIWARG Safeguarding Policy and Protocols June 2020

Buddy System/Lone Working Procedures

pdfARG UK Generic Risk Assessment July2020

 

Identification Guides

Amphibian Identification - downloadable colour cards

Newt Eggs & Larvae - downloadable colour cards  

Reptile Identification - downloadable colour cards

Non-Native Species Identification sheets

Froglife's Dragon Finder: Adult frog & toad calls

 

Advice and Information

ARC's "Dogs and Adders" Advice Sheet

"There is a Snake in my Garden - What can I do?" (ARG UK)

 

Projects & Citizen Science

pdfDARN's 'Slow Worms in Churchyards' project

pdf'Amphibians & Reptiles on Allotments' Introduction Leaflet

pdf"Spawn Spotters" presentation 12 Jan 2021

pdfToad Patrol presentation 12 Jan 2021

pdfGotta love a larva  presentation 9 July 2021

HIWARG Video: Spawn Spotters and Toad Patrols Jan 2021

HIWARG Video: Amphibian surveys: ID'S & Survey Methods March 2021

 

Habitat Management and Creation

Creating Garden Ponds - downloadable booklet   

Creating Ponds for Amphibians and Reptiles (Freshwater Habitats Trust)

Habitat Management guides (Buglife) - Not specifically herp based but a great set of guides

How to Create Invertebrate and Reptile Mounds (Magnificent Meadows)

Creating Grass Snake Egg-laying Heaps (ARG UK and RAVON)

 

Herp Diseases - Recognise & Report

REPORT SICK OR DEAD WILDLIFE TO GARDEN WILDLIFE HEALTH

Advice Note-4: Amphibian disease precautions - a guide for UK fieldworkers

Snake Fungal Disease  

Toad fly (Lucilia bufonivora)   

Amphibian Chytridiomycosis  

Ranavirus Disease  

Reptile Slough Genebank - collection & submission of found sloughs 

Garden Wildlife Health - Severe Perkinsea Infection (SPI)

GWH - Guidelines for safe disposal of waste water and other materials from captive amphibian enclosures

 

Other

pdfUsing GPX files with ViewRanger

pdfFixing Enkamat to Gully Pots - Initial Findings in Sussex

Useful glossary of terms often used within the herpetological field. (Credit due - unknown)      


Kids stuff - Educational items for the young ones

            Pond pack                                         Animal fact sheets                               Animal colouring sheets    
Pond Pack                     Alfie1                             Sammy1

 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 







Contact us

Contact Us

If you would like more information about HIWARG or have something to share with us, please get in touch via the link to our social media presence. 

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