*UPDATE: EVENT IS CURRENTLY FULLY BOOKED. DUE TO DEMAND WE WILL BE ADDING ADDITIONAL TRAINING DATES. WATCH THIS SPACE* The island of Ireland contains a border, but our cold blooded fauna don’t appreciate that, so any effort to understand their natural distribution on the island obviously requires close collaboration between organisations on each side … More HSI Announce Participation in Cross-Border Herpetology Initiative
In September of last year, the Transition Year students, of Drimnagh Castle school, asked the Herpetological Society of Ireland to discuss the building of a wildlife pond for their declining local frog population. The original breeding grounds, the moat around the old castle building, had been ravaged by pollution and the introduction of predatory fish. An action plan was compiled under … More Citizen Science: Creating An Urban Wildlife Refuge
A British government agency recently asked the Internet to suggest a name for a $287 million polar research ship. The top suggestion? The R.S.S. Boaty McBoatface. People are understandably disappointed at suggestions that the agency will not adopt this noble appellation, and we at the HSI share in that disappointment 😦 With that in mind, … More Name Our Lizard!
Introduction of an Alien: In 1947, Roswell, New Mexico was famously rumored to be the site of an unintended landing. Strange reptilian beings were reported to have been removed from the debris of a metallic vessel. The area has since become synonymous with all things “extra-terrestrial”. Around the same time on Guam, an island in … More Alien Autopsy: Anatomy of an Invasion
I killed a frog when I was twelve years old – I stepped on it accidentally while walking through the yard. I hadn’t killed it outright, but I had eviscerated it and there was nothing I could do to save it. I tried to walk away and put the animal out of my mind, but … More Animal Rights Gone Wrong?
This is the story of PhD research carried out by Bastian Egeter, an Irish herpetologist and molecular ecologist who, until recently, was studying and working in New Zealand. I arrived in New Zealand in 2008 to undertake a postgraduate diploma in wildlife management at the University of Otago and became enamoured by the country’s incredible endemic amphibians. Incredible, not … More Wildlife CSI – Using Forensics to Find Frog’s Foes
The last glacial maximum in Ireland made the island inhospitable to the common frog (Rana temporaria). As the ice retreated about 12,000 years ago, a population of common frogs was able to slowly recolonise the island from ice-free refugia to the south. This pattern of distribution shift, typifies the model applied to most reptiles and … More Salamander Expansion On Ice, As Climate Heats Up
The typical life cycle of an amphibian is often exemplified by that employed by Ireland’s native Common Frog (Rana temporaria). A large number of eggs are laid in a lentic water body and externally fertilized. The young undergo an aquatic larval stage before emerging on land as froglets. Once the eggs have been laid, the … More Amphibian Reproductive Strategies
Note: While this article will consider the harm caused by unscrupulous photographers, we will not share their photos as a matter of principle. While links to the offending material will be provided for context, every effort has been made to ensure that the photographs used in this article are from reputable sources. Cute animals are … More The Cruel Cost of “Cute”
The amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been found in some populations of Malagasy amphibians. The fungus is responsible for the disease Chytridiomycosis, which has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. Madagascar was thought to be a safe haven from the disease, which makes the news especially disheartening for conservationists. The outbreak was documented in a recent report published in … More Amphibian-Killing Fungus Found In Madagascar