Friday, 24 September 2010

UKs Overseas Territories

ARC’s new report on the amphibians and reptiles of UK’s Overseas Territories:

The “UK Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies and Sovereign Base Areas”are a number of small, self-governing territories and dependencies around the world, plus two large military training areas on Cyprus, that remain under the jurisdiction of the UK or the British Crown. Occurring in a wide range of regions and climatic zones, these “territories”include many different habitat types and, between them, support a remarkable wealth of biodiversity that includes a high proportion of endemic species –in many ways they are the jewels in the crown for the ‘UK’s wildlife’ and provide a huge addition to the number of amphibian and reptiles that are directly part of the UK’s conservation responsibilities. Fifteen of these territories support a total of 132 indigenous species (19 amphibian and 113 reptile).

With a view to helping herpetofauna conservation work in the territories, ARC has recently produced a report with a complete species inventory and overview of conservation and research priorities for the herpetofauna in these territories and this is now available on our website. Visit our web-page to find out more about the UK Overseas Territories and their amphibians and reptiles.

Report =


New Data Officer Appointed

My name is Andy Arnell. I am lucky enough to be working as the Newly Appointed GIS and Data Officer, in ARC’s Bournemouth offices, and as such I look forward to working with our surveyors and volunteers and pushing forward our various species monitoring projects. I hope to advance the modeling and mapping of species distribution, whilst maintaining our vast records database and contributing to the wider aims of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Like most people working in conservation I have always had a keen interest in the natural world. During my Zoology degree this became coupled with a fascination for Science. Since then I have had unforgettable experiences of studying animals in both Kenya and Thailand, but I have became increasingly aware that efforts need to be focused on conservation for future generations to be able to study these weird and wonderful species.

Recent advances in technology, such as the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), have helped produce more accurate species distribution maps and therefore focus conservation efforts. During my Primate Conservation Masters thesis I was fortunate enough to be able to focus on using this type of GIS software to model rare species distributions, including many smaller non-primate species. Since then I have developed a fascination with the conservation of these smaller species, such as amphibians and reptiles that often receive less attention than larger mammals and birds.

Prior to my current appointment with ARC I was living with my girlfriend who teaches art in an international school in Austria. When the opportunity to work for ARC in my ideal role came up, I had to make the tough decision to return to the UK. I am now carrying out a particularly long-distance relationship, but the fascinating nature of the job is at least easing the blow.

Meetings Dates

Some dates for your diary:

The programme for the ARG UK Southeast Regional Meeting (13 November, in Milton Keynes) has been finalised and is available from the ARG UK website

Later in the month (27 November) ARG UK’s first Southwest Regional Meeting will be held at Draycott Memorial Hall, near Cheddar. Programme also available from the ARG UK website.
These regional meetings are open to all interested in amphibian and reptile conservation.

The ARC/BHS Joint Scientific Meeting, now an annual fixture, will be held on 5 December in Bournemouth. Programme details will be available shortly.