Just one word: Reptiles Snakes, lizards, crocodilians, tortoises, turtles, terrapins and let's not forget the wonderful tuatara. I know this challenge may leave many cold but hope it might encourage a few to pay a little more attention to some fascinating "non-mammals". I had a similar "Damascus" experience myself with birds when I visited Blackbrook at it's peak (no pun intended) and, lacking mammals, was forced to take more time to appreciate the birds on show. In short, get involved -it might be good for you, see it as adding a little more fibre to your "zoo diet" . I was a little concerned that last year's challenge was a little too daunting and perhaps alienating so I've tried to make this one a little lighter. The logic behind this is that because I feel it's impossible to see all the reptiles in the UK in a year (and nobody would attempt this) this means that it's realistically possible to build up a substantial total without having to travel (too) massive distances across the whole country. Sure, to win you still need to travel but I genuinely believe it's possible to win this challenge by focusing on a few areas and visiting a lot of collections in those areas. Whilst some collections (such as London and perhaps a couple of others) will certainly be needed to be visited to underpin chances of winning the combination of many species being represented in a number of collections and some species only being present at a small number of places means that there is most likely more than one way of winning this challenge -that's what, I hope, keeps it interesting and accessible to many. An interesting random factor is that, like birds of prey species, reptiles often "pop up"/appear from nowhere, especially at smaller collections, so it's likely that the number and types of species on show at the start of the year will be different to that at the end. As always, I'm keeping the challenge to a species level as I don't want to get bogged down in the quagmire of debating validity of sub-species and/or genetic purity of specific animals (Nile Crocodiles anyone?). Taxonomy is not the greatest strength of mine so I'll rely on others to challenge anyone trying to sneak sub-species in and, if necessary, I'll take appropriate counsel for assistance on any related debates. My decision on any of these squabbles is "final" (subject to better evidence being presented and new scientific findings). I'm not sure of the (current) maximum number of species potentially viewable in the UK and perhaps only someone with too much time would do the research to find out . To be honest, I'm not sure that a definitive total could be established given the inaccuracies that tend to exist on Zootierliste for the smaller, less-visited, collections. In a way I'm hoping this keeps the challenge fun and encourages people to visit a load of collections, pay more attention to the reptiles and note what they see (i.e. minimum of effort/stress). For clarification, rules are as follows: 1. You have to actually see the animal, even if just for a second. You don't score if you visit a collection but don't see the animal (harsh, but fair); 2. Proof via photographs is not required, your word is your bond; 3. You have to see the animal via normal public access (i.e. not including zookeeper for the day or photography days behind the scenes) during normal public opening hours (i.e. no scoring because you know the keeper and can get access before/after hours). Basically the species has to be seen as Joe Public would; 4. Any severely limited opening or private collections (e.g. Heythrop, WHF, and any similar collections or refuges) don't count for this challenge. Controversial I know, but see previous point and I didn't think it fair to include a handful of days these collections might be open to the public as this might logistically disadvantage a large number of people; 5. Report/update your progress on this thread as you go along (let's say mandatory reporting from fifteen species and above); 6. The winner will be deemed to be the person(s) who's seen the most at 31st December 2016; 7. My (final) decision is final but I'm open to discussion and debate on any specific points. Right, do your Zootierliste research, get your atlases out and Satnavs/smart phones set, go!! As a bonus this year, and for a bit of silly fun, I'm planning to give out an additional trophy to the person who sees the same reptile species at the largest number of collections (i'm thinking this probably means Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos or Corn Snakes but we'll see). Finally, can Hevden please get in touch and let me know their address so I can arrange delivery of 2015's trophy? (I'm getting deja vu there ).