Menorca

Well here it is, the Algerian false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus mauritanicus). A trip report from our amazingly successful Autumn trip to Menorca will shortly follow. Many thanks again to the Hyla team for letting me tag along!

Algerian false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus)

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By Matt Wilson

Froglife

On friday I had the pleasure of meeting Froglife coordinator Samantha Taylor and Trustee John Walker and showed them the Herpetological collection at the Manchester museum. Froglife is charity organisation that is dedicated to the conservation of Britain’s amphibians and reptiles. The charity has created many conservation projects, such asToads on roads ,Snake in the grass‘, and the ‘Rana projectwhich monitors the spread of amphibian diseases and evaluates their impact. The charity is especially dedicated to conserving ”common” amphibian species which are often overlooked in terms of conservation.  I was especially impressed to learn about the extensive efforts of the ‘Toads on roads’ project, which involves hundreds of volunteers venturing out at night in the early spring to sites across the country where Common toads have to cross roads in order to reach their breeding ponds. The toads are helped on their way by the volunteers, and studies have shown that local extinctions of toads can easily occur if a certain percentage of the population is killed by vehicles during the migration period. Therefore Froglifes toads on roads project is extremely valuable to conserve vulnerable amphibian populations.

If you are interested in getting involved with Froglife visit their newly designed website at:

http://www.froglife.org/

Additionally, as mentioned in my previous post I will be herping on the island of Menorca from this weekend, our Belgian, Dutch, Maltese and British field team will surely leave no stone unturned in the search for the Algerian false smooth snake….So hopefully will have a nice report from the trip to upload in the next few weeks.

By Matt Wilson

Autumn update

Only a couple of weeks before my trip to Menorca with the Belgian Hyla team where we hope to catch up with that cheeky false smooth snake that eluded myself, as well as the Belgians in Majorca.  Also, some provisional plans have already been made for 2011! Yes I am that sad! A winter amphibian trip is very much on the cards, either to S.Portugal/Spain or S.France specifically to observe breeding Western spadefoot toads (Pelobates cultripes) and hopefully many other amphibians. Either way this will help me get through the long, freezing British winter.

As for next spring, I have been invited to participate in the ”Gerald Durrell week 2011′ organised by the Durrell school of  Corfu (http://www.durrell-school-corfu.org/ ). I have even made a page about this event for anybody who may be interested: https://mwilsonherps.wordpress.com/durrell-school/

If time/finances allow it, I would especially like to visit the beautiful island of Corsica in summer 2011, but that is still a long way off.

Additional note: The ”Books” and ”Conservation” pages have been updated:

https://mwilsonherps.wordpress.com/conservation/

https://mwilsonherps.wordpress.com/books/

By Matt Wilson