Amphibian and Reptile Survey

The  Guernsey Amphibian and Reptile Survey is now into its fourth year. It is part of the UK ‘NARRS’ (National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme) and should help us to understand the popultaions of our few local species: Common Frog, Smooth Newt, Slow Worm and Green Lizard.

Should you wish to take part, please contact John Lihou and Tanya Walls (tel. no. 727614), who are co-ordinating the survey.

If you just wish to send in a record of frog spawn in your garden or any adults seen, you can use our web record form.  There are many parts of the island for which we have no records so we appreciate any information sent in!

Frogs like shady areas in permanent grassland (garden borders will do!), outside during the summer, unlike their continental cousins, the Marsh and Pool Frogs that you hear croaking when you go to France.  These are both types of ‘green frog’ and spend most of their time in water, whereas ours spend most of their time on land outside the breeding season. Ours are a type of ‘brown frog’, though their colouring varies from yellow and reddish through to brown.

Slow Worms are found in a variety of habitats and favour permanent grassland, especially if it is tussocky, and compost heaps!

Green Lizards like cover and open areas to bask such as rough permanent grassland – dune grassland is especially good. They were almost certainly introduced to Guernsey and are found in one of our more wooded areas on the Eastern Cliffs well away from the sand dunes of the north and west coasts.

Rana temporaria big

Photo by John Lihou                              


Slow Worms are partial to compost heaps in gardens.  Generally, they need areas that are not too manicured. are around and about in areas of Guernsey, which are not closely mown or ploughed frequently. They do well in heathland and permanent grassland that is not cut too frequently.

Our newts in Guernsey are Smooth Newts and were introduced in about 1930.  They have settled in well and have generally fitted in without causing any real problems to the native animals as far as we know, though their tadpoles predate on frog tadpoles, which can be a problem in a small pond.