Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Reptiles and Amphibians in Gardens Survey

Below is some information on the survey. If you would like to get involved, or to know more, please contact David Orchard. I am reliably informed that the word "herps" refers to reptiles and/or amphibians i.e. snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and newts.

Hello All,

Below is a message from John Baker of ARG UK with some information about the national garden amphibian and reptile survey being run in partnership with the BTO. I have a stash of these survey forms so if you'd like some please let me know.

Best wishes,


David Orchard

Chair of the Amphibian and Reptile Group of South Lancashirehttp://www.argsl.org.uk/

01204 529312

07817 373853

BTO Garden Herps Survey

The British Trust for Ornithology, Froglife and The HCT are jointly running a garden herps survey. Surveys carried out by garden owners are an efficient way to gather information on herps in urban and suburban areas. Previous garden surveys have been carried out in specific localities, so this is the first time that such a project has been attempted nationally. It will gather information on:

Native and non-native herps seen in gardens
Features of the garden and its setting
Information about ponds
Incidence of frog mortalities

The survey is really pretty easy to complete and should make a nice change of pace from the randomly selected site surveys of the widespread amphibian and reptile surveys (easier to get landowner permission!). Participants simply mark boxes on a questionnaire to indicate their observations and return to BTO – and we should all get some feedback on herps in gardens. If you want survey forms for yourself or to distribute to other like-minded folks then please contact Ange Reynolds angela.reynolds@herpconstrust.org.uk at the HCT office. Returned questionnaires will be read by a scanner which can handle only the specially printed forms, so we cannot make these downloadable – you have to get them from Ange. The survey will cover 2008 and this year up to the end of June (although the section on frog mortalities goes back to 2006 – the last warm summer we had!). The deadline for return of survey forms is the end of July this year. BTO is distributing the survey forms to participants of Garden BirdWatch via that programme’s Bird Table magazine. But anyone else is welcome to take part. There’s 16,000 or so Garden BirdWatch participants – so it would be great to have input from the 1000 plus NARRSers and ARG members. If you can complete the survey or distribute forms to other likely garden herp watchers then your help will be appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

John Baker

The Herpetological Conservation Trust

655A Christchurch Road,



Dorset, BH1 4AP.


Cllr Paul Ankers said...

I wonder whether this is something the schools such as Brookburn might want to get involved in.
They are unlikely to be difficult if it involves work in July. They would not want it to affect exams, but I get the impression it doesnt take long

Dave Bishop said...

Hi Paul,

Thank you for your comment. I will put this to the local Reptiles and Amphibians group.

I suspect that the survey may be a bit too technical for primary school children and may be more suitable for older pupils - but I could be wrong ...