Here is a round up of news from the ARG UK twitter account and facebook page
#DidyouKnow tweets from Jo Richards through the ARG UK twitter account have been enjoyed by many people across the UK and beyond. A spanish National Park Ranger has also taken to translating the tweets into Spanish. Jo Richards our publicity officer has taken on herself to tweet two facts about amphibians and reptiles every single day of the year. It has proved quite a challenge so far. Jo recently went on a short break to Greece and so roped in Erik Paterson to guest for a week and providing #Didyouknow tweets to a amused audience. Currently at the time of writing the ARG UK twitter account has 3,659 followers, and we are following 2,957 accounts and we have tweeted just under 12,000 tweets. The use of social media is very important it seems for a radpily changing digital environment the word needs to be spread quickly and to interact with people beyond the usual hard core of herpetologists is vital to help conserve our native amphibians and reptiles.
Currently we have been hearing about possible arson attacks on adders and other reptiles - though it transpires that the fire was accidential. Even though there were numerous dead animals found later the same week there were reports of matin adders and the combat of the adder was observed. Photos were shared of this rarely encountered wildlife spectacle.
The ARG UK network has provided much needed advice and help to TV. The BBC have a new wildlife series called 'Seasons' and through twitter the BBC was linked up with an adder watcher in Kent to film adders basking in snow. I was Jo Richards who tweeted/posted a photo of a 'snow adder' which led to a very quick turnaround to get a camera man there almost the next day. It was a challenge to get the camera at the right place but eventually Jo, her dogs and a camera man were waiting for the male adder to emerge from his shelter. Jo waited with the cameraman and the British weather closed in. After 2 hours Jo had to leave and, just 5 minutes after, the adder emerged. The cameraman filmed the snake for over 30minutes. We are hopeful that the piece will be used in the series later in the year. This followed on from last year's adder filming where basking adders were filmed in a rather special way - you will have to wait until the series to find out what they did. We will be sure to keep everyone posted.
If you see an adder please do report it through the Record Pool http://recordpool.org.uk If you are on twitter then please do follow our account @ARGroupsUK
Facebook group page news
The facebook page for the ARG UK is going from strength to strength. There are a large variety of different people who have joined the group over the last year. The membership stands at 357 and is steadily rising each day. On Facebook there are also a large number AR groups who also have groups as well as pages. Essex, Kent, Surrey, Suffolk, London are just a few of the groups which have what are known as 'group' pages. Cornwall and Gloucestershire have a page which people can like rather than join.
Lots of news has been posted on the ARG UK group. Topics include the phenology of adders in the UK - Adders were shedding in North West Wales a month before animals in Surrey, Essex, Kent, and even Cornwall. There are wonderful photographs of the animals being seen, activities undertaken to help our native herpetofauna. Petitions to help save reptile habitats from development along with the latest news from all the different groups around the country helps to keep everyone in touch and up to date with the latest on UK Herpetofauna Conservation
The Facebook page is found here https://www.facebook.com/groups/arguk
This is the first draft of a regular website based news update from the ARG UK.
Photos, videos and other illustrations will be added to this article in the very near future.
If anyone would like to help write up news items, articles and other features from the world of UK Amphibian & Reptile Conservation then please do get in touch at