This book is designed to be an interesting and informative guide to the amphibians and reptiles that are found in the wild in Scotland. The authors have focused on those species native to Scotland, plus those which are non-native but are breeding in the wild. In addition to the native leatherback sea turtle, which migrates regularly to Scottish waters to feed, they have included three vagrant sea turtle species that occasionally drift here on oceanic currents.
Each species chapter begins with a list of names by which the animal is known, including English, scientific, Gaelic and Scots.The most commonly used Gaelic name is printed in bold. The name of each amphibian or reptile is followed by sections on its world range and taxonomy, identification, current distribution, habitat, annual cycle, diet, population estimates, threats, and gaps in current knowledge. Separate boxes cover the history of each species in Scotland, when and where to see it, and a summary of its current legal protection.
The world range of each species is described so that readers can place its presence in Scotland in a global context. The taxonomic classification of each animal is included to species and subspecies level, so that it is clear which species (or subspecies) is found in Scotland. To complement the text, the authors have included a calendar to illustrate the annual cycle of each species, photographs, maps and graphs.