Guernsey Amphibian and Reptile Survey

Restarting in 2021!

Guernsey has very few amphibians and reptiles:

Common frog Rana temporaria © John Lihou

About this survey:

  1. The Guernsey Amphibian and Reptile Survey started in 2012.
  2. It is part of the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) and should help us to understand the populations of our few local species
  3. John Lihou and Tanya Walls coordinated the survey from 2012 – 2017.
  4. Use the web record form or email us any records of frog spawn in your garden or any adults seen.
  5. There are many parts of the island we have no records for, so we appreciate any information sent in!

Common Frog Rana temporaria

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.

Smooth Newts Lissotriton vulgaris

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.

Slow Worms Anguis fragilis

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

They are partial to compost heaps in gardens. Generally, they need areas that are not too manicured and 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.

Green Lizards Lacerta bilineata

The green lizard is quite large, up to 35 cm total length and probably introduced to Guernsey. Green lizards like cover and open areas to bask in the sun, so habitats such as rough permanent grassland – dune grassland is especially good. They 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.


Top Tip

There is a best time of day to survey reptiles and this is temperature and weather dependent. Early spring - 11am - 3pm Late spring - 9-11am / 4-6pm Summer - 7-9am / 6-8pm