First of all I would like to wish all of the KRAG folks a very Happy 2008! I would also like to thank The Committee and all of our members for the outstanding commitment that has helped to make 2007 yet another successful year for KRAG.
Although personal circumstances meant that my own contributions to the group were rather limited for the first half of the year, over recent weeks I have taken on the task of updating the KRAG database so that it can better serve the demanding needs of practical herpetofauna conservation both today and in future years. And yes, working on the database is the reason why I have not been posting entries on the blog recently!
The database now holds over 14,600 Kent records. Although this seems like a very large number of observations, there is still a tremendous amount of work still to do. Nearly 70% of the county remains unrecorded. For example, of the thousands of great crested newt ponds that we believe are likely to occur, we only have records from 382 of them. The database has allowed us to identify key sites for both amphibians and reptiles. Currently, seven such sites have been designated for reptiles, with a further ten sites proposed.
Although no amphibian sites have yet been designated, available data suggests that at least 16 sites should be given immediate consideration. With additional survey work undertaken by KRAG members, information on other important sites can be collected and further designations will surely follow.
Our two flagship projects – Adders in Decline and Great Crested Newt Monitoring - continue to collect important information. The results of the Adders in Decline Project have helped in the production of a new leaflet that highlights the conservation status of the adder. During 2007, KRAG was also able to offer training to volunteers involved with the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS).
Information on all of these activities has been published in our excellent newsletter and much of it will soon be available on KRAG’s newly redesigned web site.
Here’s looking forward to a year full of activities and many new records!
Thank you all once again.