The Living Planet Report 2018 from the World Wide Fund for Nature which hit the national headlines this week points to an average worldwide decline of 60% between 1970 and 2014 among vertebrate species including amphibians and reptiles.  Britain is home to 13 native species of amphibians and reptiles and all have seen declines in their numbers and habitats.

However ARC's approach shows that it is possible to halt and even reverse the trend.

Jim Foster, ARC’s Conservation Director, said: “Reports about the global state of wildlife are an important wake-up call – they indicate the health of the planet which is crucial to us all.  The good news is that, here at home, there is much we can do to help our native amphibians and reptiles and everyone can join in.

“ARC tackles the challenge at all levels: monitoring, influencing national policy, owning and managing reserves, reintroducing species, developing research projects, raising awareness and funds, and encouraging people to love their garden ponds.”

For example, ARC is leading the fight to save the rare sand lizard by managing habitats, advising landowners and reintroducing the reptiles to areas where they have been lost.

The charity has worked with partners to reintroduce pool frogs to locations in East Anglia.  The pool frog is the UK’s rarest amphibian, a charismatic species that became extinct in England in the 1990s due to habitat loss and degradation.  Further work is urgently needed to build populations and secure its future.

After an 80% decline, natterjack toads are found at only about 60 sites in Britain – mostly coastal sand dunes, grazing marshes and sandy heaths.  ARC is working with landowners and running a reintroduction programme to bolster natterjack toad populations.

Jim Foster added: “Finding frogspawn or newts in the garden pond is one of the first wildlife experiences for many, and spotting the distinctive zig-zag of an adder basking in heathland can be one of the most exciting.

“Amphibians and reptiles are an essential part of the ecosystem and an important indicator of the health of the environment.  Safeguarding their future helps to safeguard ours.”

There are many ways to support ARC’s work including joining as a Friend, volunteering or sponsoring a species