The North West Wales Amphibian and Reptile Group (NWWARG) aims to increase awareness and drive conservation efforts focussing on herpetofauna across north west Wales. To do so, NWWARG works closely with other conservation organisations and the public to organise events such as:
Our events are open to all of our members and we are always looking to work with other groups. Get in touch with us via our contact page if you would like to get involved or have any queries about reptiles and amphibians in north west Wales.
To celebrate British Science Week (8th-17th March) we teamed up with the North Wales Wildlife Trust to visit primary schools across Anglesey and promote local wildlife.
We gave a quick presentation on the local species of amphibians and reptiles and in which areas of the Wildlife Trust reserves you might find them. Many of the school children already knew the difference between a grass snake and an adder!
We focused on 'wildlife gardening' and simple things children could do to engorge wildlife into their gardens. Kids got involved in making homemade bird feeders using pine cones, lard and birdseed along with helping build bird boxes provided by the Wildlife Trust. NWWARG helped install a 'mini pond' using a horse feed bucket dug into the ground and adding native pond plant life, many children were excited to try this at home using their parents washing up bowls!
We also wanted to roll out some ideas we learned from the ARG UK project 'Adders are Amazing'. We talked about how it's important to let adders bask without disturbance and to never try provoke a nearby adder. With our inspiration from the recent HerpWorkers meeting we also brought along clay so that children could make their own celtic adder necklaces, which children thoroughly enjoyed and we saw some fantastic sculptures.
We also brought along the ARG UK colouring sheets which went down a storm, we had some fantastic colours of frogs and adders!
Our two school visits were very successful, all of the children were eager to learn about amphibians and reptiles and wanted to share their own sightings with us. We had a great time talking about how amazing our local wildlife is and look forward to more public engagement events!
On November 24th NWWARG teamed up with ARC Trust to clean up some important Great Crested Newt ponds. Our volunteers were enthusiastic and were all rearing to go at 8am, although we did have a few catch up on sleep during the drive!
After a brief talk from ARC Officer Mandy Cartwright we split into groups and worked on clearing dead vegetation from several ponds, taking turns with rakes and grapples it soon turned into muddy work. Soon our newest volunteers were ready to take over social media with #Getmuddyfornewts, perhaps it'll be the new ice bucket challenge?
Overall NWWARG helped clear up six ponds, work which will pay off during breeding season! Our next workday will be taking place on January 26th where we'll be doing some scrub clearance, get in touch if you're interested.
On the 12th May NWWARG hosted a Reptile Training day at Gwaith Powdwr. Previously an ammunition factory this area now supports various reptile species, with an especially large population of Slow-Worms. Despite the early start our group was rewarded with bright sunny weather, the day began with a detailed talk on the various reptile species of the UK and the threats they face.
After our ID talk (and a cup of tea) we headed out and began to survey. Unfortunately we didn't come across a Grass Snake, however we found plenty of Slow-Worms (along with shed skin) and even managed to catch a speedy Common Lizard. After lunch our members practiced putting their ID skills to the test and surveyed themselves, with the data collected being added to Cofnod.
Overall it was a productive day with our members getting up close and being able to interact with our native species.
Congratulations to Molly Mannion for winning March's banner competition with this lovely photo of a Common Frog (Rana temporaria). Stay tuned to find out who wins in April! The winner will be announced on the 24th of April.
There's still time to enter! Just head over to our Facebook page and give us 3 of your best portrait native amphibian and reptile photos. The winning photo will be used as the banner photo for NWWARG's social media accounts and website for the month!
ARG UK Amphibian ID Guide
ARG UK Reptile ID Guide
ARG UK - Precautions for Amphibian Disease Advice Note
ARG UK - B.sal Disease Alert
ARG UK - Amphybiocystidium Pathogen Factsheet
ARG UK - Information on submitting shed skins to Genbank
ARG UK - Priorities for adder conservation from the Vanishing Vipers conference
Or Contact/Neu Cysylltwch â :
John Benjamin (Ben) Owens (Chair)
Rebecca Bracegirdle (Secretary)
Antonio Gandini/Andrea Pozzi (Lead Recorder)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Upcoming events will be listed here.
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