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

 

Visit HIWARG's Redbubble Shop to support our work www.redbubble.com/people/HIWARG/shop

News

News

Big Green Frog Hunt 2024

Posted on Tuesday 21st May, 2024

We are interested in the locations and distribution of the non-native Pelophylax water frog species wherever they are found in Hampshire and the IoW, but are especially keen to know if you have seen or heard them in the following locations:

Aldershot, Farnborough, Fleet and Odiham, (especially on the Basingstoke Canal)

Alton, Bentley, Alice Holt and Rowledge areas, especially along the River Way catchment.

Alresford area, mostly from the roads and footpaths around the ponds and watercress bed.

The Pig Bush, Kings Hat and Ipley inclosure areas of the New Forest.

If you are out and about in the above areas over the next few weeks, listen out for some unusual, and loud, frog calls... watch the video for an example.

There are four species of water/green frogs (Pelophylax species) in Hampshire and all have a roughly similar call. We have used the edible frog call as an example in the linked video as that is roughly somewhere in the middle of the range.

As a general rule of thumb, if you can see the calling males and they have pale/white vocal sacs on either side of their jaw when inflated, they will most likely be one of the pool frog species, if they have dark grey vocal sacs and are very large frogs they will most likely be marsh frogs and pale/mid grey vocal sacs most likely to be edible frogs.

As always, log your sightings on www.recordpool.org.uk and share any photos or videos on this group if you can. Thanks 🐸

#biggreenfroghunt

Calling edible frogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mtaXVXaw1w

If you are on Facebook you will find more details here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700/permalink/2170339753316455/

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Midwife Toads in the Winchester (Littleton, Weeke and Teg Down areas in particular) and possibly Colden Common areas

Posted on Sunday 18th June, 2023

Despite the lack of records, there is an anecdotal comment to suggest that Midwife Toads were known from the Winchester area and so we are reaching out to residents for their help in finding these elusive toads. By far the best way to identify the presence of Midwife Toads is by their calls, which has been likened to “an electronic beep, like a smoke alarm with a dying battery or a New Age car alarm” by Steve Allain, one of the lead national researchers of Midwife Toads.

With tonights drizzling rain, it is more likely that they will start calling if thay are still around. Visit the following links to hear a sample of Midwife Toads calling

http://stevenallain.co.uk/.../scifri-whats-that-beeping...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVPK899UwV8

Midwife Toads are smaller than our native toads, with adults reaching around 5cm in length. They can also be distinguished by their eyes, if you are lucky enough to spot one, which have vertical pupils as opposed to horizontal/oval pupils of our two native toads. A big difference with these toads is that they are not as reliant on ponds for breeding, as the male toads carry the eggs wrapped around their back legs, hence their name. Breeding usually takes place between April and June so they should have been calling for a few weeks now, but the dry weather may have affected this..

We are hoping that residents in the Winchester area (especially Littleton, Weeke and Teg Down) will be willing to help by listening out on warm damp nights for the “beeping” toads. If you do hear these calls it would be really helpful if you can record the calls on your phone, or take photos if you manage to see one.

For all sightings/recordings, please contact us on:

HIWARG Amphibian Officer: amphibians@hiwarg.org.uk or HIWARG on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700

Steve Allain: www.facebook.com/SJRAllain or https://twitter.com/stevoallain


Midwife Toads in Hampshire 2023

Posted on Wednesday 19th April, 2023

Midwife Toads are not a native species to the UK, but have been found in several colonies in parts of the country. Hampshire has been named as one of these locations in several sources, but there are no actual records that we are aware of. Despite the lack of records, there is an anecdotal comment to suggest that Midwife Toads were known from the Littleton area and so we are reaching out to residents for their help in recording these elusive toads.

Midwife Toads are smaller than our native toads, with adults reaching around 5cm in length. They can also be distinguished by their eyes, if you are lucky enough to spot one, which have vertical pupils as opposed to horizontal/oval pupils of our two native toads. By far the best way to identify the presence of Midwife Toads is by their calls, which has been likened to “an electronic beep, like a smoke alarm with a dying battery or a New Age car alarm” by Steve Allain, one of the lead national researchers of Midwife Toads. A big difference with these toads is that they are not as reliant on ponds for breeding, as the male toads carry the eggs wrapped around their back legs, hence their name. Breeding usually takes place between April and June so they should have been calling for a few weeks now. Visit Steve’s blog to hear a sample of Midwife Toads calling http://stevenallain.co.uk/.../scifri-whats-that-beeping... you can also hear individual calls on this Youtube link www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVPK899UwV8

We are hoping that residents in the Winchester area (especially Littleton, Weeke and Teg Down) will be willing to help both Steve Allain and HIWARG, by listening out on warm damp nights for the “beeping” toads. If you do hear these calls it would be really helpful if you can record the calls on your phone, or take photos if you manage to see one.

For all sightings/recordings, please contact us on:

HIWARG Amphibian Officer: amphibians@hiwarg.org.uk or HIWARG on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/455730808110700

Steve Allain: www.facebook.com/SJRAllain or https://twitter.com/stevoallain


Stuck for something to do over the Easter Weekend?

Posted on Wednesday 5th April, 2023

Big Green Frog Hunts are more exciting, than Easter egg hunts (although maybe not as tasty).

Conditions are not the best, but with sunny spells and temperatures tickling the 'teens over the weekend, the chances of spotting water frogs are on the increase. Pack a picnic, check the area on the map below and go for a walk. Take a camera and record your sightings and photos on www.recordpool.org.uk

Water frogs are non-native frogs in the Pelophylax group. They are a tricky group to ID to species accurately in the field so we typically call them water frogs.

As they are a complex of species, adult size can range from a similar build to our common frogs up to 50% larger. Other ID features are:

  • A very rounded nose/jaw, almost conical;
  • Eyes are more prominant and closer together than on common frogs;
  • They lack the "bandit" eye patch behind the eyes, as with common frogs;
  • Can have a yellow/green line down their spine, but not always present/obvious;
  • Lateral ridges on either side of their back;
  • Almost always in or close to water, often basking in the sun;
  • Will almost always spot you first, jumping into the water and disappearing immediately;
  • Calling males will have two vocals sacs, either side of their jaw. (common frogs call with their throat.)
  • Male calls sound like a cackling, croaking, quacking sound... they can sometimes be called laughing frogs.

We have four water frogs in our area, Marsh frog, Edible frog, Southern clade pool frog and Perez's frog. The following video will give you a rough idea of what to look for and hopefully listen out for: www.youtube.com/watch?v=472zFshwasA

You can download a fab ID guide at www.arguk.org/info-advice/id-guides/441-amphibian-id-guide-revised-2019-pdf

 

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Toads need your help

Posted on Tuesday 21st February, 2023

Toads and other amphibians have started migrating to their breeding ponds, but often get killed on our roads. There are three registered toad crossings on Froglife's Toads on Roads Map, but only two are manned by patrollers. If you can help save toads and other amphibians by becoming a Toad Patroller, visit https://www.froglife.org/what-we-do/toads-on-roads/tormap/ and find your nearest crossing.

If you want to know what Toad Patrols do, you can read more here https://www.froglife.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Patrol-Pack-2023-compressed_compressed.pdf

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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                                                              

HIWARG Safeguarding Policy and Protocols June 2020

Buddy System/Lone Working Procedures

ARG UK Generic Risk Assessment July2020

 

Identification Guides

Amphibian Identification - downloadable colour cards : a great ID guide from ARG UK/ARC 

Newt Eggs & Larvae - downloadable colour cards  : an excerpt from the above guide, specifically on newt eggs and larvae

Its a small newt but which one : a HIWARG guide to help differentiate smooth newts and palmate newts

Reptile Identification - downloadable colour cards : a great ID guide from ARG UK/ARC 

Non-Native Species ID Sheets (NNSS Website) : ID sheets from the Non Native Species Secretariat

Alien Amphibian and Reptile Species in the UK : A bilingual guide (English/Welsh) from ARC

 

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

DARN's 'Slow Worms in Churchyards' project

'Amphibians & Reptiles on Allotments' Introduction Leaflet

"Spawn Spotters" presentation 12 Jan 2021

Toad Patrol presentation 12 Jan 2021

Gotta 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

pdfReptile Habitat Management Handbook

pdfAmphibian Habitat Management Handbook

Creating Garden Ponds - downloadable booklet   

Creating Ponds for Amphibians and Reptiles (Freshwater Habitats Trust)

Guide to the Restoration, Creation and Management of Ponds (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

Fixing 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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