These two groups of vertebrates are often considered together under the discipline of herpetology – the study of “creeping things”!

However, most amphibians lay their eggs in water, whereas reptiles lay shelled eggs on land. There are 13 species native to the UK and many others that are well-established. Amphibians and reptiles are key components of many ecosystems, being both important predators of invertebrates (and other vertebrates), and themselves forming an important part of the diet of other animals. The presence of populations of amphibians or reptiles on a site can therefore be an indicator of its health.

  • A newt
  • Two natterjack toads
  • Frog on a rock

Unfortunately, both groups have suffered severe population declines in recent decades, with 40% of amphibians being considered as threatened and many reptiles still to be assessed. Four amphibians and three reptiles in the UK are highly-protected and most have declined, with population levels of adders and toads being of much current concern.

Reptiles and Amphibian Identification Courses

Each Eco-Skills course is part of a learning framework.. You can see the course level descriptions here

FSC run regular Reptile and Amphibian Courses throughout spring and summer. For details of these courses, and to learn more about Amphibian and Reptiles view our courses click the link above.

Many FSC Amphibian and Reptile courses are delivered in partnership with the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC), which conserves amphibians and reptiles, and the habitats on which they depend, to protect them for future generations.
Visit their website here Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC)

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Identification Resources:

FSC Reptiles and Amphibians Identification Chart features the 13 species of non-marine reptile and amphibian which breed in Great Britain, plus the 5 species which breed in Ireland.