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ARC’s reviews of a heartfelt recollection of the journey of herpetological conservation over the past 50 years by Arnold Cooke.

.Tadpole Hunter: A Personal History of Amphibian Conservation and Research

Arnold Cooke. 2023.

Pelagic Publishing.

DOI: 10.53061/BGOE4941 ISBN (Paperback): 9781784274481

305 pages.

Arnold Cooke is a friend of ARC and has been essential to the development of herpetological research and conservation in the UK. A trailblazing herpetologist, he has been inextricably involved in the field during its dramatic advancements over the past 50 years and subsequently is able to provide a truly heartfelt tribute to British ecology. His new book “Tadpole Hunter: A Personal History of Amphibian Conservation and Research” is beyond doubt a notable resource that combines a personal element of curiosity and passion with data from the present day, resulting in a marvellously conveyed piece of science communication. The journey taken covers the very first herpetologists of the early 19th century up to the present day and beyond with predictions for what the future holds. It encapsulates the current knowledge and potential threats for our native reptiles and amphibians, providing the evidence for why these species need closer monitoring.

This book is accessible to a wide range of readers, from professional herpetologists to hobbyists and the interested member of the public.

Find it for purchase HERE

Below are some of the reviews from ARC staff:

This book is a timely reminder of how little was known about amphibians, their populations and the issues affecting their conservation, and how, within a life time – or, indeed, a career – this has changed. While this is a personal account that documents his own significant contributions, Arnie Cooke provides a fascinating summary of some of the earlier work that underpinned amphibian research and conservation at the time. A valuable insight for those involved in amphibian research today; to know where you’re going next, it is useful to know where the path you’re treading began.

—Dr Tony Gent, CEO, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

Arnold Cooke has packed a lot into more than half a century of both professional and private work with Britain’s frogs, toads and newts so Tadpole Hunter is a valuable reference. It is not only a personal memoir, but includes a huge amount of natural history and research information and provides a history of amphibian conservation in Britain up to the present day.

—John Baker, Pool Frog Recovery Project Manager, Amphibian and Reptile Conservation

This book is now available via the ARC online shop