Herpetology - the study of amphibians and reptiles

Conservation - Introduction


Seen a Snake?   ARC - Sliding Scales

Then report it to Amphibian and Reptile Conservation's Sliding Scales website here. And, while you are there, read and learn more about the snakes we find 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 working closely with The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Natural England  and the Natural Resources Wales (Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru).

My particular involvement is as the co-ordinator of the Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme.

Of our reptiles and amphibians five are especially threatened and receive the maximum possible protection. These are:-

In all five cases the greatest threat to their continued survival is, as stated above, habitat destruction. It is no coincidence that three of the five share the same habitat preferences, and indeed, the last three are almost 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

You will note that most importantly, the first two points both relate to habitat. You can find out more about this by following the conservation menu at the head of the page.

There are many ways in which all of us as individuals can make a contribution to the conservation of these animals. Should you wish to do so, then The Amphibian and Reptile ConservationTrust is an organisation which can use your help together with other organisations it supports such as ARG UK and NARRS

As I have mentioned, my specific involvement is with the Sand Lizard and you can find more about these beautiful animals and what I do with them here.

In addition, the links below will take you to pages in The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust's website with detailed information about each of them.

All of these species have the maximum protection under UK law and it is an offence to:-

We have a number of other native reptiles and amphibians in this country which, while they are all under threat to some extent, are nevertheless not (yet) critically endangered. These we refer to collectively as the "widespread species". It would certainly not be wise to call them "common" even though, perhaps unfortunately, this forms part of their English name. Even these have some degree of protection under English Law and are of sufficient concern that The Herpetological Conservation Trust has a full time Widespread Species Officer part of whose remit is to co-ordinate efforts towards their conservation.

More information about all of these species can be found here for the amphibians and here for the reptiles.