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Proposed reptile survey in NE Wales

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MickB View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Mar 2006 at 12:51pm

Hi, this is my first message since joining the Forum, which I am finding a very valuable source of info. I'm the Reptile Recorder for the NE Wales Amphibian and Reptile Network and joint author of reptile SAPs for Flintshire, Denbighshire and the County Borough of Conwy. In an attempt to bring in more records to help identify key reptile sites in the region we are proposing a publicity campaign combined with the distribution of recording forms requesting members of the public to send in details of any reptile sightings.

Has anyone any experience of doing something similar at county or regional level elsewhere in the country and with what results? Did you get many reords? How reliable did you think they were? Did you do any follow-up checks? Overall was it a worthwhile exercise?

Any advice or comments would be welcome.

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herpetologic2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2006 at 5:16pm

 

Hi Mick

I have been involved with leaflet surveys for amphibians and reptiles - in Essex mainly - it does generate records of the more commonly encountered reptiles - grass snakes and slowworms.

We found that asking people to look out for the gardeners friend the slowworm was well recieved and it was easy to validate the records as many people sent in photographs of slowworms under carpet in compost bins, on allotments, inside the green composter bins etc

One thing that it will also do is drive the positive PR message that reptiles need - I often visited gardeners, allotment holders etc to give them advice after a follow up call - this is most rewarding giving advice to local people on their reptiles and how to look after them

It would be good to compliment the leaflet survey with targeted surveys with volunteers - try to survey nature reserves, country parks etc for reptiles so that you can build up a picture outside of gardens and developed areas.

 

Regards

Jon

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mikebrown View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebrown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2006 at 7:23pm

Hi Mick,

I am a member of the North Merseyside A.R.G. and one of our members is going to contact John Dempsey, who writes a weekly Nature article in the Liverpool Daily Post, soon to request that he asks for records of Common Lizards in the Merseyside area, where they seem to be under-recorded.

Is it worth linking this with you, as I think the Daily Post covers your area too?

Regards,

Mike Brown

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John Newton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Newton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2006 at 1:46am

Hi Mike (Brown)

If you, or Peter Tipping, wish to contact me by Private Messenger, then perhaps I can help fill in some of the blanks where common lizard appear to be under-recorded.

I have been recording on Merseyside since the mid-70's, mainly coastal between Hoylake/West Kirby up to the northern suburbs of Southport.

Common lizards do appear to occupy most of the available habitat(s), particularly in the coastal frontal/fixed dunes, and along the railway verges, and in many localities are well represented.

 

Regards,

 

John Newton

South Yorkshire ARG
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2006 at 4:20am

Just a note regarding reliability, the most common identification error we see from RAUK's online recording form is terrestrial small newts recorded as viviparous lizards. An issue worth addressing in any literature you put out with the recording forms. Some people insist that these newts are lizards despite being familiar with newts in the aquatic stage in their garden pond.

If anyone wants a version of the RAUK recording form for their ARG site please do let me know. The only requirement is that the site is ASP script enabled.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MickB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2006 at 9:59am

Hi Jon

Thanks for the encouraging response.

I anticipated that many of the records would be from gardens but they all add to our knowledge of reptile distribution. Your point about the PR value of follow up visits is well made and it would be useful to add a request for photos to the recording form. I'll also take on board Gemma's comment about the misidentification of newts.

Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the Essex reptile survey leaflet?

We are already doing targeted surveys but progress is very slow - there just aren't many people out there looking. We have run reptile survey training courses for the past 3 years and this is gradually improving the situation.

If anyone is interested our reptile survey training this year will be on Mon 26 June near Mold. I can provide further details.

Bet wishes

Mick

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MickB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2006 at 10:02am

Hi Mike (Brown)

Yes, the Liverpool Daily Post does cover our area and I would be interested to talk further about a link up with N Merseyside ARG publicity. Would you like to contact me by Private Messenger?

Best wishes

Mick

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