Friday, 20 July 2012

Snakes alive! London’s lizards mapped!

London’s first Amphibian and Reptile Atlas underlines the need for more information on the whereabouts of London’s species and the vital role of the public in helping to secure a future for these threatened species.

The first ‘London Amphibian and Reptile Atlas’ is launched today by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) and gives insight on how these species are distributed across our capital city.

For the first time ever, the whereabouts of London’s amphibians and reptiles can now be made publicly accessible to all.

The atlas is the first comprehensive map-based view of London’s native amphibian and reptile species. It provides information on the preferred habitat of each species found in the capital and exhibits, also for the first time, maps showing suitable habitat within Greater London.

Sophie Hinton, nCLARE Project Officer says:

“It is only once we know where London’s amphibians and reptiles are living that we can then identify thriving or vulnerable areas, including ‘hot spots’, their last remaining strongholds and the key areas to their conservation. With this in mind, the ‘London Amphibian and Reptile Atlas’ provides the first steps towards targeted conservation efforts for the species and ensuring their survival in the capital.

This is just the start. There are still lots of gaps in the information we have managed to collect over the last year. We need a London-wide, long-term effort in wildlife recording in order to produce an atlas which accurately represents the distribution of these species. Even recording a sighting as ‘common’ as the common frog will make a huge difference.”

The atlas is the result of the CLARE (Connecting London’s Amphibian and Reptile Environments) Project run by ARC in collaboration with London Wildlife Trust, GiGL (Greenspace Information for Greater London), London Amphibian and Reptile Group (LARG) and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Atlas is hosted online by GiGL, London’s Environmental Record Centre. It will be updated on an annual basis as new records are anticipated to come in throughout the year.

Threats to amphibians and reptiles

Amphibian and reptile populations in Britain have declined significantly during the last century due to the direct loss of habitat. With their limited ability to move long distances, London’s fragmented urban environment makes it even more difficult for these animals to move between any remaining areas of suitable habitat. As a result, many London populations are threatened and thought to be in decline.
There is a huge lack of available information on the whereabouts of amphibians and reptiles across Greater London and so opportunities to safeguard them are often missed, simply through not knowing the animals are there or how best to manage their remaining habitat.

More information is needed – the public can help

There are still numerous sites and areas within Greater London for which we have either no information or very out of date information on where amphibians and reptiles are living. Without this information, amphibians and reptiles will continue to face the same threats in the capital. 

Contribute your amphibian and reptile sightings to London’s Amphibian and Reptile Atlas and help conserve the frogs, toads, newts, lizards and snakes that all call the capital their home.

Fill in the record form by following the link to the CLARE Record form at or via the ‘Submit records’ tab on

Visit London’s Amphibian and Reptile Atlas and see if your area has any amphibians and reptiles recorded in it. Can you help fill in the gaps?

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