04 February 2015
The impact of habitat loss on local wildlife is the focus of a seminar in Jersey later this month.
The Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (known as JARG) and the Department of the Environment jointly organise the day of talks, workshops and training on local amphibians and reptiles.
This year's conference focuses on how to protect the areas that reptiles and amphibians in Jersey need to thrive.
Many scientists consider loss of suitable habitat to be the largest single factor contributing to the drop in amphibian numbers. This can be caused by development, pollution incidents, invasive plants and animals, and more extreme weather.
States of Jersey Research Ecologist Nina Cornish said “Habitat conservation for wild species is one of the most important tools for protecting and enhancing our natural environment. As land use increases, our frogs, toads, snakes and lizards have less space to call home which has an impact on numbers.
“However, we’ve seen how initiatives like the agile frog species recovery programme can make a real difference. Habitat management of the ponds at Ouaisné and Noirmont, where we’ve removed gorse, scrub and willow, has helped significantly.
In 1997, there were just six frog spawn clumps in the ponds. Last year we counted 50 – proof that effective habitat conservation can contribute to saving a species on the brink of extinction.”
In the afternoon, the focus will be on Jersey’s National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (www.narrs.org.uk), a partnership project which has been running in Jersey six years, led by the UK’s Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Group.
The event is open to anyone interested in learning more about amphibians and reptiles and who want to get involved in wildlife recording and conservation.