RAUK - Archived Forum - NARRS blog

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Chris G-O
Member
Joined: 14 May 2003
No. of posts: 36


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Posted: 13 Mar 2007
Dear all,
This is a new forum topic for discussion about NARRS - the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme - coordinated by The Herpetological Conservation Trust in partnership with the Amphibian and Reptile Groups and many others. NARRS aims to assess the conservation status of amphibians and reptiles across the UK, and generate some hard data on a subject that many of us are concerned about.
The aim of this post is to provide participants in NARRS surveys with a blog space to share their news, views and experiences, and get in touch with each other. We don't have as much time to show appreciation to volunteers as we'd like, so i hope this goes some way towards making up for this.
We have over 500 people signed up to take part in NARRS surveys this spring, and surveys will begin very soon. Volunteer surveyors are allocated a 1km square which they will survey for amphibians and reptiles, following instructions/methods that we provide. There is also an extensive programme of training events taking place over the next few weeks for anyone signed up to take part. If you feel you could offer a few mornings and/or evenings to take part in NARRS surveys this spring, please do sign up by visiting www.narrs.org.uk. Survey packs will be downloadable from there in a few days from now. In the meantime, there's plenty of information on the surveys and the training events.
Thanks very much to Gemma for kindly offering to set up this blog/forum.
cheers,
Chris Gleed-Owen
NARRS coordinator
The Herpetological Conservation Trust
Chris Gleed-Owen, Research & Monitoring Officer, The HCT & BHS Research Committee Chair
John Newton
Senior Member
Joined: 19 May 2005
No. of posts: 151


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Posted: 14 Mar 2007

Hi Chris

Seeing as the South Yorkshire/Derbyshire was the first of the NARRS training events to be held last Saturday, it is topical to commence this new blog with a brief review of the event, and subsequent field session.

The training was held at Calver Village Hall (Peak District), and well attended by 34 potential NARRS survey volunteers, including representations from naturalists (local and distant),Sheffield Wildlife Trust, Sorby Natural History Society, ecological consultants......

To help with the event, and represent Derbyshire Reptile & Amphibian Group, as a joint training day, Chris Monk was there to introduce the meeting and summarise 'adders in the Peak' over the past 30 years. Derek Whiteley from the Sorby NHS was also a great help when the attendees split into three groups on the moor, so as not to swamp out the adder sites.

The meeting served a dual purpose, in that in addition to the NARRS training, it was also intended as an adder training day for the MTAC project. There was clearly a huge amount of interest in both aspects, and the indoors presentations lasted a full two hours, to include species I.D, habitat identification, survey techniques/protocols, and the inherent health and safety issues, and landowner introductions.

Although the weather started off OK that day, true to form in managed to change to a true northern prospect of strong wind, chilly and clouded over - not the best for observing any herps - even stalwart adders !

However, once we had managed to safely get 34 people on to the local moor, and thanks to Chris Monks previous (last year) records from the moor, we were able to show the group two adders braving the conditions. A further 23 that I had located the week previously were all absent (did show up the day after, in returned sunshine!!).

Since that day, other people have been back on their own, and emailed me pictures of adders they have found, so hopefully this sets the scene for the surveys to come - everyone of the 34 people attending had indicated that they will be participating in the surveys, so its now time to sort out some 1km grid squares!

 

 

 


John Newton

South Yorkshire ARG
Chris G-O
Member
Joined: 14 May 2003
No. of posts: 36


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Posted: 14 Mar 2007
Hi John and all,
Yes it sounds like you had a really successful day, despite the weather. These training events, and NARRS in general couldn't function without trainers putting in such a lot of effort for these events. So thanks very much once again.
To remind others, this weekend sees events in Bucks, Lancs, Leics and Glamorgan. See NARRS website for details (www.narrs.org.uk).
Spring is well and truly here (well, most of the time anyway), and I'm just waiting for the first surveyor to say they've done their survey and found all the species in their square!
cheers for now,
Chris
Chris Gleed-Owen, Research & Monitoring Officer, The HCT & BHS Research Committee Chair
Chris Monk
Senior Member
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 157


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Posted: 14 Mar 2007

As the cloud became more continuous this afternoon and the sun lost its heat I gave up searching for new adder locations on the moors, which happen to also be in two of the extra (red) NARRS squares in Derbyshire. Still 3 new sightings and a count for a known site in the Make the Adder Count Survey means that both can be "ticked off" on NARRS for adder presence plus frog spawn in one and common lizard in the other.

Then it was off to the "proper" high priority (blue) 1 km NARRS grid square I had put myself down to do. There's only one pond remaining in the square and not having participated in the pilot for the amphibian part of NARRS I hope I recorded all the info that is needed, I'll have to check when survey packs are available in a few days. Also decided the best route for the reptile survey and where to put down some tins. Its in an area with no reptile records, virtually all improved farmland but the centre of the square, where the pond is situated, is a derelict quarry so I might find that some reptiles have survived in there.


Chris
Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
www.derbyshirearg.co.uk
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 15 Mar 2007

Great stuff Chris

I am going to prepare for my survey square down here in Hampshire....over the weekend

I have spotted local grass snakes in small woodland areas recently so I hope to tick them off for the spring though what happens in the summer when either the grass snakes have moved away from a square or have moved into a square - for instance along a river corridor searching for food?

There are not many ponds in my square as we are on the chalk - very few ponds apart from dammed rivers, chalk pits and other lakes

I would like to use the photos for the ARG UK website is that okay?

 

Regards

 

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
John Newton
Senior Member
Joined: 19 May 2005
No. of posts: 151


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Posted: 15 Mar 2007

Hi Jon

No problem with the photos - shame the weather was so dismal !!

Regards


John Newton

South Yorkshire ARG
mikebrown
Senior Member
Joined: 30 Jun 2005
No. of posts: 95


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Posted: 15 Mar 2007

The Merseyside Training Day has been altered to the Sunday, April 22.

Start time is 10.30 am.

Cheers,

Mike Brown


Mike Brown
Merseyside ARG
james4
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Nov 2006
No. of posts: 466


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Posted: 15 Mar 2007
weres thed merseyside one held?
http://ukreptiles.proboards55.com
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 15 Mar 2007
james4 to click here
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 17 Mar 2007

NARRS survey training - Amphibian & Reptiles

1st April - Venues Brockenhurst Village Hall (tbc), New Forest Reptiliary, Balmer Lawn Hotel (tbc) and parts of the New Forest for smooth snakes etc.....

Starting at 10am and will be going through to 9pm - breaks for lunch at the Snake Catcher Pub, Brockenhurst - evening meal at the Snake Catcher Pub aswell -

for more details

Contact - info@herpetologic.co.uk or pm me for phone number

Regards

 

Jon Cranfield

herpetologic239158.3563541667
Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
james4
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Nov 2006
No. of posts: 466


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Posted: 17 Mar 2007
thanks vicar
http://ukreptiles.proboards55.com
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 18 Mar 2007
For Surrey folks...don't miss this event !!



Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Chris Monk
Senior Member
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 157


View other posts by Chris Monk
Posted: 18 Mar 2007

Saturday's training day for carrying out the 2007 Make the Adder Count survey was a success, as the dark clouds quickly gave way to several hours of unbroken sunshine. With counts already being undertaken by some of last year's surveyors, several new volunteers joined some of last year's participants to be shown a series of hibernation emergence sites (including 24 adders out basking) and provided with forms and maps to show not only all the sites we are monitoring but other areas in the National Park where we need visits to confirm possible adder presence.  Former KRAG member Simon Geikie, now resident in Derbyshire, had never managed to see any adders in Kent, so here is his first picture of Derbyshire adders, taken when it was still grey and overcast. John and Graham should recognise/guess the site.

There's a link to the Make the Adder Count survey on the NARRS homepage.

As winter has returned here on Sunday with snow and gales it may be a week or more before we can re-commence the survey.

Chris Monk39159.8390972222
Chris
Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
www.derbyshirearg.co.uk
Chris G-O
Member
Joined: 14 May 2003
No. of posts: 36


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Posted: 19 Mar 2007

Hi Chris and all,

Yep you're right the weather has put a slight spanner in the works. Still, at yesterday's NARRS training day in Glamorgan we did manage to see an adder braving the horizontal hail and freezing winds! Thanks to Liz Chadwick for putting it on, and the 30 or so people who attended yesterday's event; i think it was a great success and i hope all enjoyed it and learned from it. We got soaked and cold but we got our one reptile, and we managed to find GCN eggs, smooth newts, newly hatched frog tads and newly laid toadspawn. It was also great to have a lot of pre-captured specimens to look at close-up.
Thanks also to Bucks ARG and Martin Hartup for organising Saturday's event at Burnham Beeches, and for the 20 or so attendees who came along. For a new group, Bucks ARG ahave done remarkably well at getting a local network of volunteers together. Martin showed us plenty of adders, and we got a few grass snakes and common lizards too. The ponds were a bit sparse on the newt front, but there were lots of toads, and bizarrely a pair of frogs and lots of recently-laid frogspawn. This was despite the fact that most of the toads had been, spawned and gone a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, as John Baker had brought some GCNs and other newts with him, everyone still saw them.
Also, there were amphibian training events over the weekend in Leics and Lancs, so i hope they went well.
Cheers for now,
Chris

[admin edit to add images]

GemmaJF39160.7229513889
Chris Gleed-Owen, Research & Monitoring Officer, The HCT & BHS Research Committee Chair
Alex2
Senior Member
Joined: 16 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 266


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Posted: 19 Mar 2007

Hi Chris,

Is this the John Baker that was once editor of the BHS YHC newsletter?


herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 20 Mar 2007

Aye

Thats him!

Great bloke

JC


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 20 Mar 2007
Places are still available for this Saturday's Amphibian training day, with CGN expert Ros Hughes   !

Too good a chance to miss!...email Ros now, details below



Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Alex2
Senior Member
Joined: 16 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 266


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Posted: 20 Mar 2007
[QUOTE=herpetologic2]

Aye

Thats him!

Great bloke

JC

[/QUOTE]

Yep, totally agreed, not seen him for years (in the early 90's I used to contribute a column to the YHC newsletter called 'Ask Alex'). Being a typical teenage procrastinator I was always being hurried for deadlines by John. I was told recently that he had something to do with NARRS but just wanted to make sure I had the right JB. Would certainly be good to catch up with him sometime. 


Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 19 Apr 2007
Folks, I could use some advice......

This Saturday SARG is doing the Surrey NARRS training. We've collected a bunch of animals to show people what to look for on the field-trip part of the day. I'm mostly doing the reptile bit, and bringing along a couple of amphibs.

The problem is this...I want to minimise on the number of vivaria I take along (trust me to by a sporty car!), but, It would be embarassing if one of the exhibits ate another .

Clearly, the adder vivs will be hot and not opened. We're aiming to have a pair of each sexually dimorphic species, plus a juvenile. So....which animals can I keep together for the day ?

Here is my draft proposal, all comments welcome.


Can I get the number of Vivaria required any lower ?
Vicar39191.8031712963
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 20 Apr 2007
Is there a risk of the adult vivips eating the juvenile sandies? That would be embarrassing....

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/

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