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Norfolk frog and toad atlas planned

PUBLISHED: 16:12 31 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:15 30 June 2010

A group is aiming to create the first atlas of the county's amphibian and reptile populations but needs the help of eagle-eyed residents to make it happen.

A group is aiming to create the first atlas of the county's amphibian and reptile populations but needs the help of eagle-eyed residents to make it happen.

With ponds teeming with life at this time of year the Norfolk Amphibian and Reptile Group (Narg) is asking people to survey their back gardens for frogs, toads and newts.

Steve Prowse , chairman of the group, said: “It's a good way for people to contribute records and help with conservation. The Bird Atlas has proved very useful in charting the decline of some species but also the rise in others. We hope the Norfolk Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles will do the same.”

The group has been running for five years and has about 20 members whose work includes providing survey and identification training of Norfolk's amphibians and reptiles, organising a programme of field trips held during the spring and summer months and practical conservation management.

Mr Prowse added: “We have some maps but a lot of the records are outdated. Norfolk has got some very rare and protected amphibians and reptiles, including the Great Crested Newt.”

It also has a population of Europe's loudest toad, the natterjack, which is rare in other parts of the country.

The group would like all records from the last five years from any location with the species, number, date (approximate if not certain) and location. A grid reference would be helpful but not a necessity.

“Some of the more common amphibians are in decline nationally because of habitat loss and also disease but it will be interesting to see if the records show the same for Norfolk,” added Mr Prowse.

The atlas is an ongoing project for the group which needs another two or three years of records to make it happen.

Records should be sent to: Phil Parker, Narg, White Row Cottage, Leziate Drove, Pott Row, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE32 1DB or email philipparkerassociates@btconnect.com.

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