Ecological consultancy work gives lots of opportunities to get up close and personal with reptiles and amphibians. One of our roles is to help our clients develop receptor sites, containing ponds, refuges, hibernacula and terrestrial habitat prior to site clearance. We then capture the reptiles or amphibians from the development site and move them to their new habitat to ensure that the populations can survive and grow into the future.
These are a few photographs of amphibians taken during 2016.
So I spent a little time today taking portraits of amphibians, as you do… I was translocating great crested newts from a site proposed for development and ended up capturing large numbers of smooth newts and toads as well as the great cresteds. I collected the amphibians together and then took them to the receptor site which had been created to provide them with habitat in the long term. As I went to release them, I was struck by the variety of individuals within the same species.
The variation is probably down to a range of factors such as diet, age, maturity, condition, sex or simply genetic variation; and ranges from obvious differences such as colour down to quite subtle differences in patterning or facial structure.
I took the opportunity to take a few ‘portraits’ to record some of these individual characters. It is a lesson which nature constantly re-iterates – look a little closer and you will always see more than at first meets the eye.