RAUK - Archived Forum - Reptile translocation - UPDATE

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Reptile translocation - UPDATE:

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herpetologic2
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Posted: 14 Nov 2008

A long distance translocation of reptiles (grass snake, lizards, slowworms and adders) over 175 miles was started this year. The translocation was from South Essex to Wiltshire.

October Press Release - http://portal.pohub.com/pls/pogprtl/docs/PAGE/LONDON_GATEWAY /MEDIA%20SECTION/LG_PRESS_RELEASE_STORE/NEW%20PORT%20DEVELOP MENT%20CREATES%2050%2C000%20NEW%20HOMES%20FOR%20ANIMALS.PDF

You can see the PR video here - http://portal.pohub.com/portal/page?_pageid=1063,323992& _dad=pogprtl&_schema=POGPRTL

The EARG have been trying to find out more and have been told by Natural England & Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to write to DP world

Graeme Clarke
DP World
London Gateway
The Manor Way
Stanford-le-Hope
Essex
SS17 9PD
E-mail Graeme.clarke@dpworld.com

If anyone gets any response please let us know

Youtube has provided further information on this project

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=usiWUVUqcZM

50,000 animals in 3 months that is an amazing feat wouldnt you agree?

The EARG still havent heard anything from DP World. Natural England Local Team (01206 796666) have suggested that EARG contact the consultants working on the project. Natural England would have information on this project yet it isnt publicly available when of course it is

The EARG will be contacting Thomson Ecology regarding this project......

Jon 

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Mark_b
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Posted: 15 Nov 2008

They called the GCN a protected reptile in the video

I have sent an email


tim hamlett
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Posted: 15 Nov 2008

"London Gateway will be the most fully automated and efficient port in the world and will become a national hub for transport and logistics in the UK."

well i'm sure the animals must feel really reassured by that!

astonishing that something like this could happen without any local experts knowing about it. 

fingers crossed it works out ok, but from what you guys have said about long distance translocations in the past... 

tim


will
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Posted: 15 Nov 2008
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust should know better than to accept animals from so far away; it goes against modern ideas of translocation best practice; also, how could they be certain that their 230Ha receptor site didn't already have any reptiles in the first place or that it wouldn't have been colonised by Wiltshire animals from nearby populations ?  It's the usual quick-fix 'we shift 'em, you build' solution but on a much much larger scale and with much more thrown at PR; the constant references to GCN as reptiles and 'hibernaculas' betray a lack of knowledge.  I would also like to know what commitment post-release there is to the management of the GCN and reptile sites for the continued benefit of these animals.

Shame that EARG and also LEHART were not consulted by such 'enlightened' consultants..

Will

armata
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Posted: 15 Nov 2008
This should not happen.
Keep me informed of any comebacks.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
AGILIS
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Posted: 19 Nov 2008
I think the motto better to shift then let them be built on is great, but there must be more deserving  local Essex sites that these animals could be settled in with advice  from people like Gemma to advise them I am sure Wilts has plenty of animals  Again the pathetic health and safety helmet / glasses predominate as the standard reptile catching uniforms were on display again mind you an adder could get you on the snitch so why not face guards!, and we no someone who wished he  had gauntlets on last year hows it going Al  lol keith AGILIS39771.519375
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armata
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Posted: 19 Nov 2008
Long distance translocation should not happen - period, even if it means euthanising displaced animals, sorry but one has to put sentiment aside sometimes.

It is NOT a conservation excercise; perhaps a 'feelgood' strategy is taking over in some quarters; while the powers that be remain silent.

We have to cull elephants here in SA; puts people in a rage, but Kruger is, or shouldn't be a zoo for elephants.

We habe to euthanise leopard tortoises that are released out of their range; captive bred and no longer belong to any natural known gene pool.

Life (and death ) is tough sometimes.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
AGILIS
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Posted: 19 Nov 2008
hI Tony I dont think you can put the odd liz and sloworm in comparison with an elephant culling , I would rather give them a chance in a hedgrow than splat them out, aint that what its all about . keith
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will
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Posted: 21 Nov 2008

In my view there is no need whatever for either long distance translocation or culling - a project as large as this must have been gestating for several years, at least a decade - plenty of time for longterm habitat management, improvement and creation to have been done onsite or closeby - a few large arable fields converted to rough grass, scrub and ponds would have gone a long way to making this a better project and would have reduced the continuing impoverishment of Essex's herpetofauna...

Cheers

Will


AGILIS
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008
culling  of displaced herps then whats the point of rescueing  them from the developers if thats the case! . They can never be put into the same catagory as large animals ie elephants deer that munch and trample into woodland farms alike , ever heard of snakes a lizards devasting large swayths of English countryside leaving it devoid  its insect life/rodents etc what a load of  absolute rubbish!! as there is always a nitch somewhere to put them , But I do  agree there is no need for long haul translocation  , unless a request for some animals to boost lost  populations, I dont think the repopulating of sand lizards has done any ecological damage to where the have been placed only inhancment and an asset. But is it cool to move sand lizards but uncool for the rest! because some of the  places they have been settled there was no proof of original La colonies that ever existed there!. but I am all for it .Keith
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Dave1812
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008
Pardon my ignorance - but is there any guidelines or legislation on the translocation of animals, if so have any been broken, and can the culprits be held to account?   
David Hind
Wildlife Trust (Cumbria) - Member
Solway AONB - Volunteer
will
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008
The legislation protects the animals from killing and injury, but it's weak when it comes to safeguarding their longterm future post-translocation.  Who's going to try to prove that a failed translocation a decade after the animals' release was due to the initial incompetence / lack of care of the developer / consultant ?  There are best practice guidelines issued by HGBI but sadly these are not statutory obligations.  Sometimes the largest projects are the ones subjected to the least scrutiny, especially if 'the public interest' can be cited - 'steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you king' (Bob Dylan) - all we can do is protest (pass me a guitar) !
armata
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008
Keith, sorry but i think you are describing the 'feelgood' factor, and as I said thats little to do with conservation; would make a nice little piece for Blue Peter (if its still running)

Sand lizard relocation was performed before we got to grips with genetics i.e. genetic integrity/contamination. This also involved smooth snake to Surry from Dorset; and of course sand lizards in Scotland!
I think some of the activities during the early years of the BHS Cons. Committe was described as 'fire brigade' tactics. And I was one of them, so I'll put my hand up; but now we should know better.

I reality I doubt if there will/would be any need to euthanise UK herps during any mitigation. Problem is identifying receptor sites within a local range.

Here in SA the laws are quite strict. If we have to take a problem snake (cobra, puff adder, Boomslang) it has to be released within a 20km radius. Also to obtain a Catch & Release permit you need to do the course on snake handling and first aid.

Maybe in UK too many loose cannons out there?

'I get my kicks on Route 62'
herpetologic2
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Posted: 22 Nov 2008

I would have to say that there is plenty of habitat within a stones throw of the site - the great crested newts went to a receptor site - effectively a farm - of over 50hectares - but the reptiles and other amphibians went to Wiltshire.

Has anyone had any response from DP World?

 

J


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AGILIS
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Posted: 23 Nov 2008
Hi Tony does this genetic thing  it realy matter?  I was of the opinion that  injecting new blood into the life chain   has alway been the best way of stopping sterility and bad  inbreeding, But I dont know what the impact as to diseases  from other sites may incur  if that is the major issue on translocating animals from other areas ?. and to be honest most of us are just happy knowing that there are healthy wide spread abundant colonies existing as I am sure you are.keith
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herpetologic2
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Posted: 23 Nov 2008

Genetics is not that simple - introducing genes from outside of the local population would potentially have unknown effects - genetic outbreeding rather than genetic inbreeding - so translocating genes great distances into other populations should be discouraged.

Besides there isnt any evidence that translocated animals will survive long term - The adder study in sweden showed that new genes passed into a genetically inbred population helped restore their fortunes - you have to remember that only 8 male adders survived and were taken back to their natal population.

Most translocations in the UK are often rushed and are not as well planned.

Unofficially reptiles are moved around the country in mitigation projects - this project was sanctioned it seems by the government and Natural England. Other projects in the UK have moved adders for example over 40km and these are also sanctioned.

The use of translocation should be the last resort - but the situation seems to be the first port of call - development is designed and then the site is surveyed for reptiles leading to little option but to translocate.....

 


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AGILIS
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Posted: 24 Nov 2008
All this genetic and trans debate as saying there isnt any evidence that animals will survive long term after being translocated . What evidence says they wont, And  not many of us have the time or specialised monitoring equipment to keep  a watch on a lizards progress and survival throughout  the season even if we do see it  more then once in a location as they do move about of their own choice so can dissapear at any time !, survival also depends on what predators there are in the vicinity and other hazards , Are we all going down the same line in conserving herps as the pc health and safety brigade that has  completely lost touch with reality.  You dont need  an academic back ground in genetics to save a few reptiles!.  It may have been  used by Darwin in his statments about species in isolation and how they evolved with variations in exstreme cases, I realy cant see the genetics of common liz grass snake adders an all being under some threat in this country by moving them to another retreat, you might get greener lv in some area or darker ones elswhere, this is to do with the areas natural terrain colouration and vegitation and the reptiles natural chromataphoric metabolism not new immigrants, mind you I am only a beginer with only  50 years in rescuing reptiles who did not do a herps degree at Essex uni lol Keith AGILIS39776.2452777778
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Peter
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Posted: 24 Nov 2008

At the recent HCT/ARG meeting in Manchester, there was an example given of the introduction of fresh blood (three male adders added to a declining and isolated population) vastly improving the lot of a colony in demise.

Forgive my ignorance also, but could somebody give me an example from any study that proves that "mixing" gene pools in GB is actually detrimental to the species concerned?

I must admit that I struggle a little with the idea.  If we were talking about Madagascar for example where Panther chameleons at one end of the country live in very different climatic conditions to animals at the other, and are apparent as several clearly distinctive ˘locales÷, then I would find it easier to understand any such reservations.  Island races of foreign taxa and established locales of poison dart frog in the vast continent of south America are also examples where I would fully agree that translocation from one area of entirely different humidity and climatic conditions to another, separated for a substantial time period and many hundreds of miles away would be potentially catastrophic.

Comparatively speaking though, are L.a for example, from Southport really that far removed genetically from L.a from Dorset?   Given that a squirrel could at one time "travel from land`s end to Scotland tree to tree", could that mean that the original habitat for L.a is dune systems and not man made heathland?  If so, is it really that long ago in reptile evolutionary terms that the two were connected?  I do appreciate that there is a Lancashire "race" and a Dorset "race", the differences are pretty subtle though, and some Dorset animals are indistinguishable from Lancashire animals and vice versa.  How long a time period do we estimate that the northern and southern colonies have been separated?

Generally speaking, I do not hold too much faith in translocation, or at least in the rather thoughtless manner in which it seems to be done all too often (as seems to be the case at the beginning of this thread).  I do think that it is a favoured option when compared to euthanasia however.  On this tiny island that we live on, I also wonder whether ˘species isolation÷ (other than comparatively recent instances orchestrated by man) is really as much of a concern as it would be in a much larger and diverse geographical area such as Indonesia for example.

Sorry, I have strayed somewhat from the original subject, but would like to be enlightened further.

Peter39776.2563888889



herpetologic2
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Posted: 24 Nov 2008

I think the precautionary principle applies here - we need to keep animals as close as we can to their original sites - we do not need animals to be karted around the countryside - reptiles have very limited dispersal rates and so populations will remain distinct from each other for many thousands of years - it is possibly more to do with locally adapted genes and preventing these from being mixed up and producing ill effects.

I have searched google scholar and I have found these papers on genetics - I feel that this work can be related to the type of translocations which are occurring every year in the UK and we ar emeant o be conserving the species now they ar elisted under the BAP - 

Outbreeding depression in the common frog, Rana temporaria

http://www.springerlink.com/content/lv68m29432114864/

Genetics and extinction

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi =B6V5X-4GFCT1R-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_ori g=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_ve rsion=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7c5bf10fa43 b89a732cc7c0ad578ee45

Haldane rules: costs of outbreeding at production of daughters in sand lizards

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118811120/abstrac t?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

The alluring simplicity and complex reality of genetic rescue http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi =B6VJ1-4CVX3R6-1&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_ori g=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_ve rsion=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=b7558eca38b bca9789fe9a8dc8596b54

Conservation Units and Translocations: Strategies for Conserving Evolutionary Processes

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119062991/abstrac t

There ar emany more papers on many different species but th emost interesting is the papers on common frog, adder and sand lizard

J

 

 

herpetologic239776.7439351852
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herpetologic2
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Posted: 25 Nov 2008

Adders for instance in Essex are very much local species and so we wouldnt want animals to be moved without very good justification - reintroducing adders into London populations or Hertfordshire using rescued adder neonates from local development sites.

There is a decline of adders in Epping Forest - perhaps thats related to changing habitats through succession or heavy management but it may also be related to the many adders which were rescued from various other locations and placed into Epping.

Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Essex and other locations were the scene of adder rescues during the 1950's, 60's and 70's they may have survived and bred with the locals - we just dont know so I would be more cautious and keep adder movement local.

Some people feel that it isnt a big deal but until we know we should be consecutive with the distances reptiles are moved.

J

 


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- Reptile translocation - UPDATE

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