Available now
Mark O'Shea's new softback edition
Venomous Snakes of the World.


Also his Dangerous Snakes of Papua New Guinea stamp issue
and all his other books on the new 'O'Shea's Herp Shop'

 

Available now
new edition
DK Handbook to Reptiles and Amphibians.


Visit the
'O'Shea's Herp Shop'

 

MARK O'SHEA'S REPTILE WORLD:
SNAKEBITE, BRITISH REPTILES & GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE

The exit corridor contains a number of educational information boards:

Snakebite
British Reptiles
Global Amphibian Decline

More are planned, such as the Asian Turtle Crisis and CITES.

SNAKEBITE

Snakebite has been listed by the World Health Organisation (WHO/OMS) as one of the "Forgotten Tropical Diseases". On this board we attempt to highlight and rationalise a problem that kills up to 94,000 people a year and changes 100,000s of people from healthy breadwinners into invalids and cripples.

click to enlarge

 

BRITISH REPTILES

The United Kingdom mainland is home to three lizard, three native snake species and one introduced snake species. Snakebite is not a problem in the United Kingdom with only 12 deaths from adder bites during the entire 20th Century, the last tragedy occurring in 1975.

click to enlarge

West Midland Safari Park has a large wild population of grass snakes (Natrix natrix helvetica) and this population was added to some years ago when several gravid (pregnant) females were recued from gardens around Bewdley, kept until they laid their eggs and the eggs incubated. The success rate with the eggs was 100%, we never lost a single one. The hatchling grass snakes were released in an isolated damp area of the Park where there were plenty of small frogs and a known grass snake population.

Mark releasing hatchling
Grass snakes
, Natrix natrix helvetica, at WMSP

We plan to continue our involvement with 'our own' reptiles through collaboration with conversationist and ecologists from Worcestershire who are concerned about the decline of the wild adder (Vipera berus berus) population in the Wyre Forest area.

 

GLOBAL AMPHIBIAN DECLINE

Amphibians have existed for 360,000,o00 years but the world's amphibians are disappearing at a phenomenal rate due to a fungal disease called Chytrid. If the decline continues at the current rate 5000 or the world's 6000 species could be extinct 50 years form now.

click to enlarge

 

PHOTOGRAPHIC CREDITS

Many photographs contributed to the excellent photographic educational display boards around the walls of Mark O'Shea's Reptile World, only a few of which are illustrated on the website. We are grateful for the assistance of the following photographers.