At the beginning of the year Froglife started the Scottish Dragon Finder project. Scottish Dragon Finder aims to reach as many people as possible across Scotland, giving people the chance to find out more about wildlife in Scotland and spread the word of amphibian and reptile conservation. This great little project comes with a great little app which you can download on your phone or if you don’t have a smart phone you can use the website – dfm.froglife.org.
With the app you can identify adult reptiles and amphibians as well as their eggs, larvae and calls. Simple questionnaires, illustrations and photographs will help you identify animals, and you can compare photographs of different species to make sure you’ve identified the animal correctly.
You can also submit your records quickly and easily using the recording form. Using your phone’s GPS function to determine your location or manually inputting your location. You can also use this form to submit information about dead or diseased animals to help track the spread of deadly diseases in the UK. Each time you submit a species record, you are given a gold star for that species to help you can keep a track of the animals that you’ve spotted – why not see how many stars you can collect!
It is also possible to find out more about individual species. Read about the distribution, ecology, life-cycle and eggs and larvae of each species. Get tips for identification. Listen to recordings of calls.
If you would like to learn more about amphibians and reptiles from a person (and not an app!) then use this link – www.froglife.org/dragonfinder/events to find out what events they have near you. Also on the website is a great activity for children where they can become Dragon Finders by collecting five different Dragon Finder badges!
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger