A great opportunity to get involved to help monitor and conserve Scotland’s amphibians and reptiles! 

Saving Scotland’s Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAAR) is an ambitious Scotland-wide initiative that builds on ARC’s previous Scottish projects. Thanks to our funders, we were able to expand on ARC’s work with this project starting in September 2021.

Scotland’s amphibians and reptiles have proven their prowess to survive on the edge of their range. These resilient creatures are under threat from habitat loss and degradation, pollution, the spread of disease and the impacts of climate change. They provide an indication of the health of our environment, with significantly reduced sightings of amphibians in our ponds each spring this should be a warning sign to us all.

The SSAAR project has four overall aims:

  • To encourage a greater understanding of our amphibian and reptile populations, by training and supporting citizen scientists across Scotland!
  • To raise public awareness of the conservation needs of Scotland’s amphibians and reptiles and their habitats, and help to promote better understanding that safeguards their future.
  • To promote community relationships, personal wellbeing and life opportunities by providing chances for people to engage as project volunteers, allowing them to gain new skills and knowledge.
  • To work with land managers, partners and other stakeholders to protect, restore or create habitat features to allow our amphibians and reptiles to thrive in Scotland.

Amphibians and Reptiles in Scotland

Did you know there are six amphibians and four reptile species hardy enough to live in Scotland? Most are secretive and go unnoticed but, like many other species, they are under threat from human activities. ARC is dedicated to supporting their conservation efforts, while helping people engage with these fantastic animals. Our most recognisable species is the common frog, and you have probably been lucky enough to have seen this species in your garden, or on walks in ditches, paths and ponds.

Amphibian species:

Reptile species:

Spotting grass snakes in Scotland

With your help we can find out if grass snakes are a Scottish species! To find out more about our new citizen science grass snake project, click below:

Find out more

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Join in

Volunteer with us! Our first priority is to find out where these species are found, and to monitor their populations to help to inform our conservation priorities. To help us achieve this, SSAAR is recruiting volunteers for a number of exciting opportunities! We will provide training and support for you to get involved with amphibian and reptile surveys, habitat management tasks and community events. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like to receive updates and opportunities to get involved in this ARC initiatives, please register via the link below:

ARC Volunteer Registration Form

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SSAAR in the community

We believe conservation begins locally within the heart of a community, for everyone of all ages. Interacting with nature brings a sense of well-being, an opportunity to learn something new, develop new skills and meet new people. Through ARC’s SSAAR there will be a range of activities, walks, talks and workshops to get you started in further appreciating and conserving your amphibians and reptiles. 

You can get in touch with our Education Officer Janet Ullman directly by e-mailing [email protected] to find out about opportunities for your group, or you can register your interest, which will keep you up-to-date on activities happening.

ARC Volunteer Registration Form

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Volunteer surveyors needed across Scotland

We are delighted to be supporting ARC’s Citizen Science programme. Through the SSAAR project we will be recruiting, training and supporting surveyors in Scotland. Many areas of Scotland have no or few records of amphibians and reptiles and we urgently need to monitor our amphibians and reptiles to get a better understanding of the health of these populations.

We are looking for volunteers to support this important work across Scotland. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and would like to receive updates and opportunities to get involved in SSAAR or across ARC initiatives, please register via the link below or get in touch with our Scotland Coordinator – Rachael Cooper-Bohannon [email protected].

Citizen Science is a great way to get out into nature, meet new people, and gain new skills. We’ll support you along your ARC volunteering journey and offer training and support along the way. By signing up we’ll send you information on our events and training.

ARC Volunteer Registration Form

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Support for land managers

The SSAAR project can provide advice to land managers, community trusts and conservation organisations who wish to manage or enhance habitats for reptiles and amphibians. We can also connect land managers to surveyors, to do baseline studies or regular monitoring programmes of species. For further information please contact Rachael Cooper-Bohannon (Scotland Coordinator) – [email protected].

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Natterjack toad project

If you are based in Dumfries and Galloway or the Borders, you can get involved with ARC’s exciting natterjack toad project! The project urgently needs volunteer surveyors to monitor Scotland’s rarest amphibian. To find out more please get in touch with our Amphibian Conservation Officer Jack Harper – [email protected].

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Our training and events

We are excited to be launching some new online training events. You can register to attend our FREE events by clicking the links below:

Course Date
Identifying amphibians and reptiles 6 February, 11am - TUESDAY MORNING
6 February, 7pm - TUESDAY EVENING
10 February, 11am - SATURDAY MORNING
Surveying amphibians and reptiles 13 February, 11am - TUESDAY MORNING
13 February, 7pm - TUESDAY EVENING
17 February, 11am - SATURDAY MORNING

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Our funders

We are very grateful to our funders, The Helvellyn Foundation, The R S MacDonald Charitable Trust, The Bannister Charitable Trust and Thistledown Trust, who have made this project possible.


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