2014: A Busy Year For The Herpetological Society of Ireland

Since it’s formation in 2009, the Herpetological Society of Ireland has worked non-stop to fulfill it’s mission statement; working to “… advance, and promote, awareness and understanding of herpetofauna …, the conservation of native & exotic herpetofauna, and Herpetoculture through education, learning, and research….HSI Chairperson 2010). With each passing year, The Society has grown; undertaking new projects, overcoming new challenges and continuing to do everything it can for the advancement of science and the conservation of herpetofauna on both a national and international scale. The HSI is an entirely voluntary organisation, run by 12 committee members who contribute all they can, with what little free time they have. But the achievements of the society to date cannot be attributed to this team alone; the society is heavily reliant on the efforts of volunteers from all walks of life, and it is these volunteers who are the lifeblood of our conservation and education efforts.

When we called for herpetological heroes, you were there…

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you, and to encourage others to contact us if you wish to contribute to our ongoing work.

2014 has been another busy year for The Society. The work is ongoing, but we’ve summarised some of our most important work to date:




The HSI featured in the publication FrogLog. The story covered the HSI’s work with Irish amphibians, and can be viewed here on pg 36


BBC’s Secrets of Bones

The HSI were delighted to assist the crew of the BBC Series “Secrets of Bones” which first aired on Tuesday the 18th of February on BBC4. The crew were filming at the Natural History Museum in Dublin and featured a dart frog loaned to the HSI by Reptile Haven

For more information, or to see additional interactive content not featured on the show click here.

Frog Die-Off in Kildare


Photos taken by the science team show frogs found dead within metres of the breeding pond. Photos courtesy of Collie Ennis

H.S.I Science officers investigated a disturbing report of a mass die off of frogs in a Kildare pond.

Our initial report on the event can be read here

Michelle Hennessy of The Journal covered the story here.

Senior science Officer Rob Gandola discusses the incident on Kfm. The programme can be heard here.


Frog Die-Off in Kildare

Science Officer, Rob Gandola delivered a talk hosted by The NUIM BioSoc concerning the worrying frog die off in Kildare.

HSI Science Officer Rob Gandola discusses the frog die-off in Kildare on the Elev8 show on RTE-2. Listen to the show here.

Available LIVE on RTE player at this link: http://www.rte.ie/player/us/live/10/


Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science

The Herpetological Society of Ireland were thrilled to participate in this years’ Bealtaine Festival of Outdoor Science. HSI PR Officer, Rob O’ Sullivan delivered a talk on Ireland’s native reptiles and amphibians, as well as discussing some ways the general public can get involved in citizen science.


Bull Island Survey



As part of a series of events celebrating Biodiversity in Dublin City Parks, HSI Committee members Collie Ennis and JP Dunbar, delivered a talk, at the Bull Island Interpretative Centre, on native amphibians and reptiles and on the survey  undertaken of some of these species on the island.

Senior Science Officer Rob Gandola, discusses the ongoing survey on The Mooney Show. The interview can be heard here.



Rose Festival

The HSI hosted an interactive display at the Rose Festival.

Science Officer Collie Ennis was interviewed by Nearfm during the festival. listen to the interview here.



The HSI were featured in the publication FrogLog yet again! The article, entitled “Citizen Science in the City” detailed our survey work on the Bull Island Nature Reserve. Read the article here on page 48.

Dublin Comic Con

The HSI returned to the Dublin Comic Con following the popularity of our stand last year. The stand was manned by HSI PR officer Emma Lawlor and Science Officer Collie Ennis.




Bali Snakebite Initiative Fundraiser


HSI Science Officer JP Dunbar took on the “Hell and Back” challenge to raise funds for the Bali Snakebite Initiative. JP did us all proud and raised €530 for a very worthy cause.


Bull Island

As part of the HSI’s ongoing work with the North Bull Island survey, Science Officer Collie Ennis met with UNESCO MAB representative, Meriem Bouamrane; City Parks Superintendent, Leslie Moore; Feargal O’Coigligh of the National Parks and Wildlife Services; Gerry Clabby, Heritage Officer Fingal County Council; and Niall Harmey of National Parks and Wildlife Services.


This newsletter is by no means an exhaustive list of the work performed by The Herpetological Society to date, and work is still ongoing so watch this space. We would like to thank all the volunteers who’ve made this work possible, but several volunteers deserve special mention: Alice Lett and Owen Dempsey, for their ongoing voluntary efforts, Peter Lillis for his assistance in lizard surveys and Megan Doyle, whose assistance on the North Bull Island project has been invaluable.




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