Amphibians and Reptiles

The UK is home to only 13 native species of amphibians and reptiles with a number of introduced species also present in some areas. Dawlish Warren is similarly impoverished with six native species recorded.

Related Link: Herpetological Conservation Trust

Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara
This widespread species can be encountered almost anywhere on site, but is most frequently encountered along the Dune Ridge and other areas of bare sand. Some bright green individuals have been wrongly reported as Sand, Green and Wall Lizard in the past. The predation of this species by Kestrels has been noted in some years.

Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis
This nationally rare species was introduced to the site by the Herpetological Conservation Trust in the mid 1990s with support from English Nature's Species Recovery Project. Although not native to the site, the species is found in similar habitats in Dorset and Lancashire, individuals from Dorset populations were released here. Follow up monitoring has shown that the species is now breeding on site and is continuing to colonise southwards along the Dune Ridge, having spread about a kilometre since their introduction. This species is fully protected by law and it is an offence to disturb them in any way.

Slow-worm Anguis fragilis
This species has been recorded, but by 1992 it had not been seen for several years, maybe this species is somewhere waiting to be discovered. There were no further records until 2007. An unconfirmed record in spring 2007 was followed by one seen along the Back Path on 29/7/07. They have since proved to be regular in this area and it has also been reported from the Golf Course.

Adder Vipera berus
The first confirmed record for this species on the reserve was during Summer 2005, when one was seen along the Dune Ridge. This is the only snake record for the recording area.

Common Toad Bufo bufo
This species is widespread and can be found in all ponds on site. The Main Pond is the major spawning area, but the young toadlets can be found almost anywhere at the right time of year.

Common Frog Rana temporaria
Until recently this was a very rare visitor to the recording area with only a handful of records. It is possible that this species was introduced, it is now recorded breeding each year, although much of the spawn is found in flooded areas and perishes as the flood waters dry out.

Palmate Newt Triturus helveticus
There are few records of this species on site, although it is assumed to breed in the Main Pond. The majority of recent records have been from areas where grass and other cut vegetation has been left, the dump in the Main Wood was particularly favoured.

 

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