Herpetology ~ Conservation in the UK

We have only a limited number of reptiles and amphibians in the UK and all are under threat to some extent - mainly from habitat destruction. Many bodies and organisations are involved in efforts to protect both the habitat and the animals - far too many to list and give credit to. BUT my involvement with Herpetological conservation is as a member of the British Herpetological Society Conservation Committee working closely with the Herpetological Conservation Trust, English Nature and the Countryside Council for Wales (Cefn Cyngor Gwlad Cymru). My particular involvement is as the co-ordinator of the Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme.

Of our reptiles and amphibians four are especially threatened and receive the maximum possible protection. These are the Great Crested Newt, the Natterjack Toad, the Smooth Snake and the Sand Lizard.

In all four cases the greatest threat to their continued survival is, as stated above, habitat destruction. It is no coincidence that all four share the same habitat preferences, and indeed, the last three are entirely restricted to only two habitats - dry lowland heath and coastal dune systems.

Conservation efforts require three major groups of activity - just as a three legged stool with a missing leg will fall over, if any of these are not maintained then the animal is doomed. These are the identification, preservation and protection of habitat. The maintenance and improvement of habitat. The monitoring of populations of animals and where necessary their re-introduction by translocation or from captive bred stocks.

The next two links will take you to photographs of two of those animals with some information about the animals and the work which is being done towards their continued survival - the Natterjack Toad and the Sand Lizard.

If you want to learn more about Herpetological Conservation in the UK click here to Mail me at iowarth@crislis.co.uk

Link to Herpetology - Captive Breeding Page


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