Monday, 22 August 2011

Snakes and toads in London

Help record sightings of London's amphibians and reptiles August 2011. Londoners are being urged to record amphibian and reptile sightings across London as part of a new project to raise awareness of the frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards that all call the capital their home.

9 reptiles and amphibians recorded in London
Life isn't easy for reptiles and amphibians in London so the CLARE project has been set up to lend a helping hand. London has a superb diversity of wildlife. Nine of the thirteen British native amphibians and reptiles occur naturally in the capital, and there are even other species (some of which are not naturally found Britain) thriving in small pockets of land in London. Surprisingly, though, information about the distribution of most of these species in London is very poor and this is hampering efforts to conserve them.

This is why Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, has teamed up with the London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), London Amphibian & Reptile Group (LARG) and London, Essex & Hertfordshire Amphibian and Reptile Trust (LEHART) with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will be raising the awareness of amphibians and reptiles in London through a series of events - the first of which is taking place this Sunday at Hutchinson's Bank Local Nature Reserve as part of the Old Surrey Downs.

Sophie Hinton the CLARE Project Officer says: "Amphibians and reptiles are a key part of London's ecosystem but are disappearing from the capital due to the loss of habitats they depend on. Like humans, amphibians are dependent on clean, fresh water and so the declines in their populations reflect the damage we are doing to our environment and should act as a warning to our own survival.

We don't yet know enough about where amphibians and reptiles are living in London and it's only once we've found out where, that we can then identify key areas for their conservation."

Record your sightings
So if you've spotted an amphibian or reptile within Greater London, whether it was in your garden, a park, in the street - the CLARE project partners want to know what, where and when.

Go to www.arc-trust.org/CLARE to find out how to identify amphibians and reptiles and to record your sightings.

http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/london-reptiles.html

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