On this page we provide general advice on the design, execution and analysis of amphibian and reptile surveys for a range of scales and purposes. This is summarised in the downloadable 2013 paper, ‘Survey protocols for the British herpetofauna’, which is jointly published by: ARC, the Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology (DICE) at University of Kent and University of Sussex.

Based on recent research findings, and five workshops on survey protocols held in 2011-12, we have developed suggestions for survey protocols at four levels:

  1. Simple presence/absence surveys;
  2. Population counts to give an idea of the relative abundance of a species;
  3. Population densities; and
  4. Population estimates using capture-mark recapture techniques, or a complete census over one or more years.

Consideration is also given to

  1. Population depletions which determines whether removal of animals from a site is actually depleting the population. This is likely to be of particular interest to those who are involved in mitigation projects or translocation projects.

To find out more about these protocols, with examples of specific techniques for amphibian and reptile surveys, you can download the full paper here:

Survey protocols for the British herpetofauna - v1.0

National Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Programme

Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s National Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Programme (formerly the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme), has been running for over ten years now, and brings together existing surveys for our rarer species, with volunteer-based surveys of the more widespread species from across the UK, to determine the conservation status of all of our amphibians and reptiles.

For those wishing to get involved with the National Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring Programme, standard survey protocols can be found on the ARC Survey Hub: www.arc-trust.org/monitoring

Direct protocol links: