Reptiles of the Welsh Harp

Based on the article “Reptiles and amphibians”, by Andrew Self, in Birds of Brent Reservoir

In an attempt to catalogue the reptiles and amphibians of Brent Reservoir a survey was carried out at the reservoir in 1995 (Atkins and Herbert). Using this information and the personal observations of  regular birders at Brent it is possible to give a brief list of the reptile species that have been recorded and a summary of their status.

  1. Grass Snake Natrix natrix
    There are few records of this species. The only traceable reports are of one near the Rifle Range in the 1960s (per L. Batten) and one swimming in North Marsh on 2nd September 1994.
  2. Slow-worm Anguis fragilis
    Two Slow-worm were observed in May 1989 near the Sailing Base and the species has been recorded on several other occasions since then.
  3. Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara
    Previously a common and widespread species, the Common Lizard is now rare. Two  reported in a garden in 2015 were the first in the recording area since 1994, when one was found on the Dump.
  4. Red-eared Terrapin Chrysemys scripta elegans
    Since the late 1980s this American reptile has been illegally released into the reservoir on a number of occasions. It is most often seen in the summer when basking in the sunshine on a log or a piece of discarded rubbish in the reservoir. As many as six were counted in the summer of 1997. More recently, one was seen in 2008 and four were counted in East Marsh on 25 April 2013.

References
Atkins W., Herbert C. (1995) Reptile Survey of the Brent Reservoir. London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group.
Self A. (2002) “Reptiles and Amphibians”, in Birds of Brent Reservoir: The Natural History of the Welsh Harp (eds L. Batten, R. Beddard, J. Colmans, A. Self). London: Welsh Harp Conservation Group.

© Welsh Harp Conservation Group 2017