London’s Amphibian and Reptile Atlas was launched today (Friday 20th July) by the partners of the CLARE (Connecting London’s Amphibian and Reptile Environments) Project.
The atlas is the first publicly accessible, comprehensive map-based view of the distribution 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.
It is only once we know where London’s amphibians and reptiles are living that we can then identify thriving or vulnerable areas 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.
The Atlas is hosted online by Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGL), the environmental records centre, where it will be updated on an annual basis as new records are anticipated to come in throughout the year. Hard copies are also available from London Wildlife Trust offices – email Sophie Hinton if you want one posted to you.
The Atlas includes records of amphibians (Common Frog, Common Toad and Smooth Newt) from several sites in Tower Hamlets (the Smooth Newt at the top of this article was photographed at Mudchute by John Archer during fieldwork for CLARE), but there are no recent records of reptiles from the borough.
There is still a huge lack of available information on the whereabouts of amphibians and reptiles in the borough and across Greater London, 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 – we can all help.
Contribute your amphibian and reptile sightings to London’s Amphibian and Reptile Atlas – submit records online to GiGL.