RAUK - Archived Forum - Inside out

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David Bird
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 515


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Posted: 13 Oct 2009
The BBC were down the other week filming members of ARC and myself on the Boscombe cliffs for a part of a BBC1 program called Inside out. The new series started last night at 19.30 but am not sure when, of even if the Wall Lizards will be shown. It will be worth keeping ones eyes open for this but as it is a very regional based program this section may only be shown in the South. The presenters did say however that they had been out with Prof.Richard Tinsley the week before to film a piece on Xenopus for the same program, I am not sure if they will be shown the same evening or not.
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Will they be wanting to film North American Bullfrogs? Its
a little late as most have been removed

though I am tracking down any tadpoles......

J
Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
David Bird
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 14 Oct 2009
Not as far as I know. Not really sure how or why they have chosen Wall Lizard & Xenopus. I was just asked by ARC to attend for my input as they are aware of the Institute of Zoology/Natural England disease project that is finally getting off the ground.

David
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
David Bird
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 515


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Posted: 20 Nov 2009
This Monday 23.11.2009 the Inside Out program on African Clawed Toad and Wall Lizard will be shown on BBC 1 South region at 19.30. This will also appear on the web on BBC iplayer for people outside the area to watch for 1 week.
There may also be a small piece shown on the Breakfast Show. There will also be a live interview with me on BBC Radio Solent Breakfast show at 7.45 regarding the Wall Lizard if anyone is interested.

David
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
Jonathan
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Joined: 08 Sep 2009
No. of posts: 68


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Posted: 22 Nov 2009
Cool, just hope I don't forget now
"England Expects"
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 23 Nov 2009
Ahh I saw the item - I have to say I take the same view
as Chris Packham (Autumn Watch views on Grey squirrel
control) on this issue. Where the Wall lizards are at an
interface with sand lizards then there may be a case to
control the animals. Though has the virus been implicated
in any deaths yet?

I suppose we cannot afford to find out

J







Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
David Bird
Forum Specialist
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 515


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Well I have been saying that We cannot take the slightest chance for years in areas where the Sand Lizard is found. Also that the release of the Wall Lizard on the cliffs was a moronic act as well as being illegal and has put the existing Sand Lizard population under another threat, this time one they may not be able to contend with.
The chances of finding a sick or dead Sand Lizard on the cliffs are about the same as obtaining World peace. Of the many thousands of Sand Lizards I have seen only 6 dead ones, 3 were obviously vehicle kills and the other 2 were on an urban site with some very dodgy children about who showed me one dead lizard 2 1/2 m up an elderflower tree, 1 was a hatchling on a sand patch in October after a very cold night. I do not think that a lizard that is dying of a pathogen is going to come out in the open to die but will probably stay in its burrow feeling a bit sick and dying out of sight, any one that comes out in the open and is ill would be easy prey to a predator rather than a passing herpetologist with an interest in diseases. It has taken me over a year and 2 visits to the cliffs with one of the researchers to get this point of view across and remove it from the proposals. Obviously any sick looking Lizards in the area would be collected and sampled but I personally do not think they will ever be found.
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
Paul Hudson
Member
Joined: 24 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 33


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009

Has any one got a link for the inside out show that featured the wall lizards?

 

Paul Hudson


Paul Hudson
David Bird
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Paul,
Doesn't Google reach that far north.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00p4kfs/Inside_Out_Sou th_23_11_2009/

quite short for the amount of time it took and what they were told, mostly ended up on the cutting room floor. At least there were no Cumbrian holiday makers in camera shot.

cheers

Dave

British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009
David, Just how dangerous is the virus that has been
isolated from the Wall Lizards?

I seem to remember that this was found in captive reptiles
- possibly a serious risk for consultants who also keep
reptiles eh?

J




Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
Alex2
Senior Member
Joined: 16 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 266


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009

[QUOTE=herpetologic2]I seem to remember that this was found in captive reptiles
- possibly a serious risk for consultants who also keep
reptiles eh?

J



[/QUOTE]

 

Jon, there is a disinfectant on the market which starts with name 'Ampro' (no advertising i guess  ) and this is one of todays standard 'superstrength' hand sterilising gels used by hobbyists etc to prevent the spread of viruses between different species during handling. The makers of which claim it stops the transmission of harmful pathogens and bacteria etc, but how reliable the stuff is i do not really know in all honesty. I use it but nevertheless it is mainly alcohol based and on the basis of that - it may not be enough.

Alex240141.8619791667
David Bird
Forum Specialist
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 515


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Jonathan,
It is not known how dangerous this virus is as it has not even been described yet, if that is what they do with viruses.
I collected some specimens of Wall Lizard on the Poole cliffs in 2008 where the disappearance of Sand Lizards had occured and managed to get them tested as part of the ongoing Sand Lizard recovery program disease testing project being run by the Institute of Zoology.
They sent some of the organs to the University of Hohenheim where the DNA of a totally new virus was found, the nearest known virus being the Paramyxovirus group of viruses that includes Newcastle disease, important in Poultry, and Ophidian Paramyxovirus (OPM) which was found in the 1980s to cause a lot of deaths in Zoo and private collections of snakes. This appears to be 2 separate sub groups or species with multiple strains and some intermediates which may be separate species. These are all dangerous to snakes and at one time zoos in this country were euthanasing animals that were found to be positve with antibodies to P.V. The main problem with this was that the test beeing used was the one for Newcastle disease which seemed to give random results. One of the experts on O.P.V seems to be Dr. Elliot Jacobson in the U.S.A. although some work was carried out in Germany. O.P.V has been found in a few captive lizard species and one case in newly caught animals. There has been no records in European Lizards although as far as I know until the Sand Lizard project no one was looking for it or anything similar.
Due to the virulence of O.P.V. I am certainly worried about any virus that is similar to this and may have an effect on the Sand Lizard which i have spent a good part of my life trying to conserve.
There are over 90 colonies of introduced Wall lizard in Germany and a similar decrease in Sand Lizard has been reported in some areas. If I was at the German University I would have tried to obtain some of these animals to see if I had the same problem on my own doorstep and also check some of the native populations that occur further south, I am not sure if this has happened but I have not heard anything about it and of course do not know what their workload is like or exactly what is needed for the testing.

The problem is that the releases of Wall Lizards were from hatchlings bred in outside vivaria where Sand Lizards were also being bred for release, never a good idea to keep mixed species as far as I was concerned. It seems that the people releasing the Wall lizards are also consultants so I am not certain who or what is the most dangerous, the virus, the Wall Lizards or the consultants.

As I have said before on the forum I think that the Sand Lizard population on the cliffs has been isolated for possibly hundreds of years from any other populations and so may be genetically poorer than poulations out on the open heath where the captive breeding stock was obtained.
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
Iowarth
Admin Group
Joined: 12 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 222


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Posted: 24 Nov 2009
Regarding Dave's posting and specifically the last two paragraphs, although he and I have not always been in agreement regarding the direct impact of Wall lizards on Sand Lizards I am bound to say that keeping alien species with Sand Lizards being bred for release is verging on crass stupidity. I do keep both - and they are strictly segregated.
Similarly, irrespective of the legal position, releasing alien species where natives are present is always going to be an absolute no-no.
The danger of alien pathogens being introduced in this manner is very real, even though the specific one in this case has yet to be fully investigated (in fact, we cannot yet even be sure that it is alien). But a measure of the impact of such things can be seen with the Grey Squirrel - one of the reasons it displaced our native red squirrel is because it carried Squirrel pox, against which the Reds had no defence.
Certainly, if the Wall Lizards are the source or carrier of such an alien pathogen Dave is certainly correct about the probability of a lack of genetic variability and thus strength within the cliff Sand lizard populations.
Chris

Chris Davis, Site Administrator
Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme

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