There are thirteen native species of amphibians and reptiles (known as herpetofauna) in the UK and of these nine are found within Wiltshire. There has never been an atlas of Wiltshire amphibians and reptiles published and with several new non-native species turning up in the county an assessment of our herpetofauna seemed overdue.
We currently hold around 12,000 records for the group as a whole, with the greater majority of records being for amphibians and distribution of these records seems to be fairly representative across the county. Wiltshire Amphibian & Reptile Group (WARG) activities are predominantly based in the Swindon area but we’re lucky to also receive records from consultants and other professional ecologists collected as part of their survey work as well as ad hoc records from the public from gardens and other local areas.
WSBRC and WARG are keen to improve further our knowledge of the whereabouts of these species so measures to safeguard our native fauna can be more effective. An Atlas project is a great way to overcome any gaps in information, encourage wider participation in herpetofauna recording across the county and provide high quality evidence to secure long-term gains for amphibians and reptiles. The recent Wiltshire mammal atlas proved this unequivocally and was a tremendous success.
Our aims are to:
- identify key locations for Wiltshire’s amphibians and reptiles
- share information that will help protect them into the future
- gather existing and new records of native and non-native species from recorders
- produce an atlas of distribution based on current records
- stimulate new recording and survey events in future to allow updating of the atlas
Please share your records with us by adding them to Living Record from where they will be verified by our County Amphibian and Reptile Recorder, Gemma Harding. Records collected for the atlas will be shared with local and national recording schemes such as the Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC)
WARG are always looking for new members and new sites to set up surveys or group events. If you know of a suitable location for a recording activity please contact WARG directly via WiltshireARG@hotmail.co.uk or on their Facebook page.