The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2020 Impact Factor for the Herpetological Journal is 0.862

pdf 07. Research as a tool to inform amphibian conservation policy in the UK


Open Access


Authors: Jim P. Foster And Trevor J . C. Beebee

Abstract: In the UK, research has improved our understanding of amphibian popul ations, their habitats, threats and the effectiveness of conservation measures. The greatest research effort has been directed to the protected and declining species, notably Triturus cristatus, Bufa calamita and Rana lessonae. However, several challenges arise when attempting to employ research findings as a tool to shape policy. Wild populations and threats to them are not often simple systems that invite straightforward investigation. Extrapolating from small studies to more comprehensive appl i cation can also generate problems, especially with widespread species. The standards of confidence commonly used in science may not be directly transferable to conservation policy, as in conservation it is often desirable to apply the precautionary principle. When constructing policies, it is important to be realistic about the constraints that may be imposed due to factors beyond the control of conservation agencies and researchers, notably those of a legislative or socioeconomic nature. There is a need for conservation practitioners to engage more closely with scientists, with a view to identifying the current knowledge gaps that hinder the achievement of conservation gains. The increasing success of B. calamita reintroductions provides an excellent illustration of such an application of scientific knowledge.

Keywords: crested newt, natterjack toad, population ecology, research

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Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.