Reptilewatch JE

Reptilewatch JE

 

What is Reptilewatch JE?

Jersey has four native reptile species, some of which are rarely seen and are limited to certain habitats. Reptilewatch JE is a new project that aims to gather sightings of Jersey’s four native reptile species to help assess their conservation status, distribution and habitat requirements. 

Reptilewatch JE is the successor to the widespread reptile surveys undertaken as part of the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) which ran in Jersey from 2007 to 2018. During this time volunteers provided a great deal of information which has been used to inform the design of Reptilewatch JE as well as influence efforts to protect the species. 

 

How can you help?

There are opportunities for everyone to get involved, with 3 levels of surveys depending on your interest, available time and experience.

Level 1 – spend 30 minutes looking for reptiles and send us your results. No experience or training is required.

Level 2, option 1 – carry out 6 surveys, each taking 1 to 2 hours. You will search for reptiles along a survey route and check artificial refugia (sheets of roofing material) for reptiles and other species. You will need training at one of our training events but no previous experience is needed.

Level 2, option 2 – carry out 6 surveys, each taking 30 minutes. You will search for wall lizards at known and suspected wall lizard sites. You will need training at one of our training events but no previous experience is needed. Please contact n.cornish@gov.je to be allocated a site. Alternatively you can survey your own site with the relevant landowner permissions.

Level 3 – you will carry out multiple intensive surveys at known and suspected grass snake sites. This is for experienced surveyors only.

All surveys take place between March and October.

 

To start your Reptilewatch JE journey please visit  the Jersey Amphibian and Reptile Group (JARG) website to get the resources you need.

Here you can download the Survey forms, survey guides, ID guides, species fact sheets, health and safety information and more.

 

Jersey’s reptiles

The green lizard (Lacerta bilineata) is typically bright green and can usually be found in coastal grassland, heathland and dune habitats. They are most likely to be seen on warm sunny days.

The slow worm (Anguis fragilis) is a legless lizard ranging from grey to brown or copper in colour. They are rarely seen out in the open, preferring to spend much of their time underground or in amongst low-level vegetation and leaf litter. They are widespread in Jersey and can be found in a variety of semi-natural and semi-urban habitats including allotments, cemeteries and gardens. 

The wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) is typically brown but can be variable in colour. They are most commonly found in the north and east of the island, favouring fortifications and dry stone walls.

The grass snake (Natrix helvetica) is Jersey’s rarest and most elusive reptile. It is also Jersey’s only snake species, and does not occur anywhere else in the Channel Islands. This non-venomous snake can grow up to a metre long, with an olive green or brown body with black bars along it and a yellow collar on the neck. They are distributed in the west of the island, inhabiting grassland, wetland, dune and heathland areas.
 

If you currently do not have time to commit to carrying out these surveys please record any sighting you have and add a casual record.

 

Reptilewatch logo
Green lizard (Rob Ward)