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Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have a query about a pet reptile or amphibian. Can you help me?
We are concerned only with the conservation of reptiles and amphibians, not their care in captivity. We would certainly wish that any captive reptile or amphibian received the best possible care and would suggest that at least as a starting point you visit Chris Davis's, Terry Thatcher's or Melissa Kaplan's websites. Even if they cannot help you directly they can almost certainly point you in the right direction.

2. I wish to request a Data Search
These can be obtained from Warwickshire Biological Record Centre at:-

Warwickshire Museum Field Services
Ecology Unit
The Butts                                                                                     email museum@warwickshire.gov.uk
WARWICK
CV34 4SS

Access to information is free for the public, students and amateur researchers, although a charge, based on hourly rates, is made for commercial users. The WBRC is open to enquirers by appointment during office hours from Monday-Friday. Most queries can be answered by post if a personal visit is not possible. Please address your correspondence to:

Warwickshire Museum Field Services
Ecology Unit
The Butts
WARWICK
CV34 4SS

For other counties go to Find your Local Records Centres' Contact List

3. Where is my local County Group?

Find your local amphibian and reptile volunteer group

4. I would like WART to remove the Frogs/Toads in my Garden pond

We are sorry but WART does not carry out rescues. See the news page and Red leg disease below.

 5. What is red leg disease

Red leg disease    

Over the past few years, there has been concern expressed over the spreading of Red Leg Disease throughout the country. Red leg disease may be caused by bacteria ( Aeromonas hydrophila) which are already present amongst frog populations. It seems that the disease only breaks out if the frogs are under some stress, perhaps overcrowding. In fact, research is still going on into the condition and it may be that more than one factor is involved.

The name red leg comes from the lesions found on the hind legs and underneath of the frog giving the legs a red appearance. This infection is highly contagious among frogs and will kill all the frogs in a pond. All affected frogs should be taken to your nearest wildlife rescue centre as soon as possible. Clearing and emptying the pond may provide some protection.

The following is from The House of Commons web site publications
"58. DEFRA are also using a slightly different approach by targeting the source of some of the non-native species of both flora and fauna that are flourishing so rapidly in gardens across the country. An example of this may be the deadly Red Leg virus which is decimating native common frog populations. Many experts believe that the massive increase in this disease has brought the common frog to the brink of extinction and as frogs are an essential part of the food chain for predators such as foxes, stoats and buzzards, the impact will be felt more widely. Whilst it is still not clear how Red Leg entered Britain, one theory is that it was brought in by tropical fish or other amphibians bred for garden centres which are then introduced to garden ponds. DEFRA are in the process of developing a Code of Practice for the horticultural sector and have formed a working group, which includes representatives from other Government departments as well as, for example, the Royal Horticultural Society and the Garden Centres Association, to take this work forward. We understand that the thrust of this Code of Practice will be to educate those involved in the horticultural sector about, effectively, doing the right thing rather than warning against doing anything illegal."

 

We urge DEFRA to ensure that the Code of Practice for the horticultural sector is not simply an information leaflet to be ignored but that it has some requirement for compliance built into it which is then backed up by a proper monitoring process.

As a footnote, early indications are that a second amphibian disease, Chytridiomycosis (see our News page), could also have severe impact. Its origins are again non-native, and it may well have entered the UK through the same route emphasising the need for such controls.

  Frog with red leg


Should frog spawn be moved?

This causes more harm than good. The experts say it should not be moved under any circumstances as it may introduce red leg, and devastate another population. In general, things should not be returned to the wild, e.g. from garden pond to any natural water body.