Written by Chloe Davey, Transforming Lives Trainee.
Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve always had strong bond with nature. Where did this fascination and passion begin? I’ve quite a few people inspire me growing up, I would watch David Attenborough and Steve Backshall every time they were on tv. However, my biggest influence is my dad. He’d take me out on regular walks around nature reserves, identifying every butterfly, bird and animal we came across. As a thank you to these great men and to celebrate International Men’s Day, I would like to discuss some of our native male reptile and amphibian species.
Great crested newt males are easily identifiable with their long, wavy crest stretching across it’s back and tail. However, this magnificent crest can only be seen during mating season to help attract a female. These sweethearts even perform a special courtship ‘dance’ by standing on their front legs and waving their tail from side to side. Male toads, along with the other amazing creatures I will be discussing are smaller than their female counterparts. In breeding season, the males will migrate to the pond they were born, eagerly waiting for the female’s arrival. Froglife has an amazing project called ‘Toads on Roads’ where you can volunteer and get to see this migration for yourself.
Male reptiles visually differ from their female counterparts as they are more colourful. Male slow worms are easily identifiable as they are mostly pale, but can sometimes have small blue scales. Male adders similarly are also pale in colour, but instead have a dark zig-zag pattern stretched across their back. I must admit my favourite male of our native species is the adder. I love its contrasting design of light grey body with a dark and striking pattern.
I’m always thrilled to see these wonderful creatures and help maintain their habitats. As I said, my dad has always encouraged my love of nature. Now when we go on nature walks, we teach each other about the animals we’ve seen.
Is there someone who has inspired your love of nature?