Monday, 20 February 2012

Venom Day 2012

Due to the success of Venom Day 2010 the British Herpetological Society and the Bangor University Herpetological Society will be hosting Venom Day 2012 at Bangor University on the 10th March this year.

The final schedule is:
09:45am - Registration and refreshments
10:30am - David Warrell - Envenoming worldwide: What’s new?
11:30am - Axel Barlow - Phylogenetics of advanced snakes: relevance for studies of venom evolution.
12:00pm - Nick Casewell - An introduction to venoms and antivenoms.
12:50pm - Lunch Break
02:05pm - Beckie Nicholas - Using multiple loci to infer species limits of southern African dwarf adders.
02:25pm - Steve Trim - Providing solutions for venom research.
03:15pm - Wolfgang W├╝ster - Easy come, easy go: the origin and evolutionary dynamics of venom in reptiles.
04:05pm - Refreshments
04:20pm - Rachel Currier - Unusual presence of messenger RNA in snake venom reveals expression dynamics of venom replenishment following depletion.
04:50pm - Kev Palmer - Habitat management as a tool to support and enhance adder populations.
05:20pm - Michel Dugon - The evolutionary origin of the centipede venom apparatus: A hypothesis.
05.50pm - Freek Vonk - Massive evolutionary expansion of venom genes in the King cobra genome.
06.20pm - Finish

Location is room A12, Brambell building, Deiniol Road, Bangor, LL57 2UW, UK. Although a full lunch will not be provided, light snacks will be available.

Everyone is welcome and the price is £5 for members of both the Bangor University Herpetological Society and the British Herpetological Society and £10 for non-members.

Booking is essential by 3rd March however the fee is payable on the door and a valid membership card must be displayed for the reduced rate. To book and for information regarding a limited availability evening meal after the talks please contact

Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting 2012 - the write up!

The hugely successful Herpetofauna Workers Meeting 2012 was held at the Telford International Centre, Shropshire on Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th January with Nick Baker Naturalist & Broadcaster as Keynote Speaker. To see the full write up with photos and videos from the HWM '12 CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

ARC Professional Training Courses 2012

Amphibian & Reptile Conservation are running several amphibian and reptile training courses during 2012. These courses will cover conservation, surveys, licensing, mitigation, habitat management and much more.

Natterjack Toad, Great Crested Newt & Reptile Courses 2012

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, in partnership with the Field Studies Council are running a series of training courses for professionals;

Great crested newts and licensing for surveys
- 28th March
Reptile surveys - 29th March
Widespread reptiles and mitigation - 3rd-5th April
Mark recapture techniques - 16th-18th April
Working with natterjack: understanding their ecology, surveys and licensing - 25th April
Reptile surveys - 9th May
Great crested newts, licensing and mitigation - 27th-29th November

See the course programme for a booking form and more details about each course.

Amphibian and Reptile Training with Jim Foster - courses run in partnership with ARC

This spring/summer experienced conservation professional Jim Foster, in partnership with ARC, will be running several introductory amphibian and reptile training courses;

Great crested newt survey training for professional ecologists
- 2nd-3rd May
Habitat management for reptiles - 7th June
Habitat management for reptiles - 3rd July
An introduction to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles - 10th July

See the course programme for a booking form and more details about each course.

Visit ARC's regularly updated training page for details about training courses being run by ARC and partners in 2012.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Town Common Public Consultation - Have your say!

After years of hard work by many different organisations there is now a Draft Plan for the on-going management of this important wildlife site. The plan has been produced, with the help of facilitators, by a Steering Group consisting of wildlife organisations as well as groups representing the local community. From ARCs perspective we hope the plan will allow us to continue to conserve the important wildlife and habitats found on Town Common, and to fulfil our obligations as managers of SSSI heathland. The views of local residents, put forward by the groups representing them, have and will continue to be taken into account. We hope this will prevent the misunderstanding that has accompanied previous conservation actions on the site. Follow the link below where you can read either the full or summary Management Plan. It is important to the Steering Group that we can gauge the public response to the proposed plan so please let us know your thoughts by taking the time to fill in the Public Consultation Response Form.

Gary Powell
Senior Reserves Manager

Visit ARC's Site Management Bulletin Board for up-to-date information about work taking place on this site.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Common Toads and Roads on the One Show!

On Wednesday evening (1st Feb) the One Show had a short feature about Common Toads and road crossings. It showed local ARG UK volunteers helping migrating toads to cross a road near Bath to reach their breeding site, a nearby lake. Go to the BBC iPlayer to watch the clip.

Common toads sometimes cross roads as they migrate to breeding ponds in the spring. Toads migrate en masse with waves of animals travelling from their hibernation grounds of woodlands and rough grassland to ponds, ditches and reservoirs to breed. This can be particularly problematic on new roads that have been built through migration routes; some roads have thousands of animals crossing and, inevitably, traffic can lead to the deaths of hundreds of common toads in a matter of nights.

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is working with planners and highways engineers to ensure that requirement for amphibians feature early in the planning process for new roads.
See our Common Toads and Roads leaflet for more detailed information.

Visit the ARC website for answers to FAQs about frogs and toads.