Some of our amphibians and reptiles are considered “widespread” – in other words, they are not restricted to particular habitats, and occur across relatively large areas of the country. Even though they are found in more places than the more restricted species such as natterjack toads, the widespread species often face problems. ARC works on the conservation of these widespread species in a number of ways, as follows:

Monitoring status: through our survey programmes, we assess the status and trends of the widespread species. Primarily we do this via the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme. Assessing the status of the widespread species is a challenge, and so we work on a number of projects and with partners to gather a wide range of data. For example, to understand the range of these species, we use information from the Record Pool, which is managed jointly with ARG UK.

Gathering evidence: we work with other scientists to ensure there is a sound evidence base, to help with status assessments and conservation interventions. 

Setting the agenda for action: through Species Action Plans, we set out the goals for recovering species, and state what actions are needed to meet those goals. We work with a range of stakeholders to promote actions helping widespread species.

Influencing policy: we advocate policies and practices that will help widespread species. For example we work with Wildlife and Countryside Link and others to influence policy on agri-environment and land use planning. We lobby government to step up action on biodiversity initiatives so that they address recovery for widespread species.

Producing advice: we publish practical advice based on sound evidence and experience, to help people make a difference for widespread species. For example, we produce handbooks and leaflets on habitat management

Communicating: we spread the word about widespread species via our broadcast and print media work, social media (Facebook, Twitter etc), website and other channels. For more specialist audiences, we organise conferences, publications and run themed projects. We work closely with NGO partners such as the Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife and RSPB to ensure our messages are joined up. Through volunteer opportunities on our reserves, people learn more about conservation and help spread the word to a wider audience.

Local projects: we work with partners to deliver projects that combine the above approaches in particular areas. For example, we run projects on widespread species in South Wales, North Wales and Scotland.