Work by Russia researcher Andrey Reshetnikov has shown that an invasive fish - the rotan, Perccottus glenii - can severely affect European amphibian populations. Rotan effectively deplete amphibian larvae in their breeding ponds, except for the noxious common toad (Bufo bufo).
The national furore over the planned badger cull is gaining momentum, and there are serious concerns on all sides that peaceful protest and objection might spill over into violent confrontation. While all this is happening, another cull is quietly going ahead: that of 100 wild boar in the Forest of Dean.
Britain's only venomous snake, the adder (Vipera berus), has often been in the news over the last year or so. Fears over its apparent decline have raised media attention across the UK, but rarely does a lowly reptile precipitate such fuss as a parliamentary question and a note in Hansard!
This year has been a bumper year for sand lizard conservation. The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) has managed to introduce/reintroduce sand lizards to seven sites in England and Wales - possibly a record number.
Britain's rarest reptile, the smooth snake, is only found in a handful of southern English counties. Heathland loss during the 20th century has seen them disappear from whole counties such as Devon. However, a project coordinated by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) has been reintroducing smooth snakes to a heathland nature reserve in Devon.