Connecting London’s Amphibian and Reptile Environments

LizardLizard

Life isn't easy for reptiles and amphibians in London – so the Connecting London's Amphibian and Reptile Environments (CLARE) project was set up to lend a helping hand.

Nine British native species of amphibian and reptile can be found naturally in the capital and there are even other species (some of which are not native to Britain) thriving in small pockets of land in London.

Surprisingly, though, information about the distribution of most of these species in London is poor; and this is hampering opportunities to conserve them.

This is why Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) teamed up with London Wildlife Trust, Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL) and London Amphibian & Reptile Group (LARG) with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the CLARE project over 2011-12.

Together we helped raise awareness of amphibians and reptiles (collectively known as herpetofauna) in London, conducting surveys and encouraging others to record sightings of our fellow Londoners; the common frog, common toad, smooth, palmate and great crested newts, slow-worm, common lizard, grass snake and the adder.

It's only once we've found out where these animals live that we can then identify key areas for their future conservation.

So we still need your help: Wherever you've spotted any amphibian or reptile, whether in your garden, a park, in the street – we want to know what it was, where it was and when you saw it.

Send in your sightings

The CLARE project worked alongside London Wildlife Trust's Living Landscape projects From Thorn to Orchid and The River Crane, setting up long-term monitoring schemes and a herpetofauna-focused approach to habitat management on our reserves.

London Reptile and Amphibian Atlas

The first London Amphibian and Reptile Atlas has been published. For the first time ever, the whereabouts of London's amphibians and reptiles can now be made publicly accessible to all.

The atlas is the first comprehensive map-based view of London's native amphibian and reptile species, and provides information on the preferred habitat of each species found in the capital and exhibits, also for the first time, maps showing suitable habitat within Greater London.

The Atlas is hosted online by GiGL and will be updated on an annual basis as new records are anticipated to come in throughout the year.

Although the CLARE project finished in July 2012, there are plans to further progress this work is resources permit.

In the interim, if you're interested in getting involved with amphibian and reptile conservation, contact the London Wildlife Trust or Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.