Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) Trust needs more people to take part in our monitoring scheme– the National Amphibian and Reptile Recorders Scheme (NARRS) - in the southern half of Wales. If you are interested please read on.
You can monitor reptiles or amphibians, or both. Phase 1 involves a randomly selected 1km square near your postcode. It’s great if you can do this, but phase 1 can prove challenging as you have to seek landowner permission, sometimes the square isn’t suitable, or you don’t find creatures! Please do sign up if this suits your needs though, as phase 1 is collecting important information.
Phase 2 involves picking a site with a known reptile population, or a pond with a known amphibian population. This could be your garden, local park, nature reserve, common land, farm, etc. You still need landowner permission but this should prove easier if you know the site, the staff or farmer.
For the amphibian monitoring you need to undertake 4 surveys from March to May. Go and have a look at the pond in January/February (this could count as one of your surveys if you find toads and/or frogs breeding). Consider setting provisional weather dependent dates in your diary. One survey in March (if warm enough), two in April, and one in May. I would advise night time torching in March, April and May, and one day time visit searching for newt eggs in April. ARC can lend you a torch if you don’t have one. ARC are particularly keen on more great crested newt ponds being monitored.
Same for the reptile monitoring – 4 surveys. You can survey a site without using roofing sheets as refugia, but this more challenging, you need to be an experienced spotter and the weather has to be perfect. Most sites should have at least 30 refugia out within the 1km square, ARC can lend you refugia if you need them, and/or help put them out. Ideally the refugia have to be out by mid-February, as they need time to bed in so they are ready for Spring. Again, put dates in your diary. One in late March, April, May and then at any point from June to September.
If you feel you need training/mentoring let me know.
Everything you possibly need is on http://narrs.org.uk/ - please register before Spring.
Get in touch if you need any help.
BLF Dragonscapes Species Officer
Amphibian and Reptile Conservation