ARC set to save Scotland’s amphibians and reptiles - Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Saving Scotland’s Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAAR) is a new and ambitious conservation initiative led by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC).

Funded by the RS MacDonald Trust, Bannister Charitable Trust, Hellvellyn Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation, the project aims to address conservation and welfare needs and increase understanding of the country’s six amphibians and four reptiles over three years, involving Scotland’s communities in monitoring their populations and improving the habitats they call home.

ARC works in partnership with land managers, governmental organisations, NGO partners and local groups to protect species, and restore or create habitat features to allow native amphibians and reptiles to thrive in Scotland.

John McKinnell, NatureScot’s Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians Adviser said: “NatureScot has worked successfully with ARC on projects for many years. We welcome this project which will continue the momentum of amphibian and reptile conservation in Scotland to which ARC has been a key contributor.”

These resilient creatures, frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes, are under increasing threat from habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, pollution and the spread of diseases They have long been our familiar friends in our gardens as well as our countryside, being found on the top of Munroes and basking in the heather and provide a vital indicator of how healthy our local environment is. However, there appear to be fewer sightings of adders and toads across Scotland, with the implications being that all our native species are facing some kind of population crises.

Janet Ullman, ARC’s Education Officer for Scotland, said ”Ten years ago, most primary school children I worked with had seen a frog or a toad, many saying how they saw them in their garden, in a park or even along the pavement. Today when I ask a class if they have seen a frog or toad less then half have. This is not only an urban problem, but appears to be a problem across Scotland. We need people to be aware that a silent spring is not only the loss of bird song, but also the loss of that chorus of croaking from our ponds and lochans.”

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Posted On: 30/03/2022

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