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RAUK - Archived Forum - Nadders, hibernacula and management

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Nadders, hibernacula and management:

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GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


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Posted: 11 Sep 2004
Hi all (especially Tony),

Im currently doing a voluntary survey at a site with a mind to compile future management recommendations.

Firstly, Ive identified 2 potential adder hibernacula and was wondering how common is it to record adder actually on hibernacula throughout the season? Ive been recording females at both since June and 2 males at one yesterday.

The problem is that one of them is right next to the sites car park and the first cover that will be found by dogs and toddlers, so Im concerned both for the snakes and the public that the area should be fenced off.

Ive also got wind that an area with very good potential for adder and potentially again a hibernation area is due for mechanical clearance. :0( 

I was wondered if anyone has any references for common management recommendations for reptiles such as the benefits of habitat piles, importance of hibernacula to adder ecology etc. I will need to do a fairly impressive report for this site as the warden isnt particularly sympathetic to adder and I will need to convince those that pull the strings that this stuff is important.

Ta
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
evilmike
Senior Member
Joined: 15 May 2004
No. of posts: 85


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Posted: 11 Sep 2004

how about getting the local BTCV group in instead of mechanical clearance once adders are in hibernation oct/nov time? that way if copicing takes place several habitat piles may be created that would benefits wider range species therefore benefiting the areas biodiversty, could push suitable adder habitat management with other species, butterflys on south facing sunny slopes, habitat piles for invertebrates etc.

 


Mike Lister BSc hons Ecology & Env management
evilmike
Senior Member
Joined: 15 May 2004
No. of posts: 85


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Posted: 11 Sep 2004

as for the fencing, if the bottom part has a mesh or chicken wire this stops rubbish blowing in to the reserve from the carpark, did this before, now the rubbish collects in the asda carpark instead looking unsightly making them clean it up :)

 


Mike Lister BSc hons Ecology & Env management
Tony Phelps
Forum Specialist
Joined: 09 Mar 2003
No. of posts: 575


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Posted: 12 Sep 2004
Hi Gemma

Breeding females usually stay in the vicinity of the hibernacula, and also some males. The males which stay vary individually from year to year, at Hartland this year two males occupied a quite small area near the hibernacula all season, both look fat and well.
You might find that some adders both male and female, but mostly females make a late migration, something to watch out for even as late as a week ago, but will return mid-end October.

Tony
GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


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Posted: 12 Sep 2004

Ta for that Tony, this is the first time I've seen adder so often around a smallish hibernaculum, at Hindhead the whole hillside has hibernation potential so I'm not that suprised when I see snakes on it, other sites I've studied have defined hibernacula where I only see snakes early and late season.

Only one beasty showed today about a foot away from where I first recorded this snake in June. This is a sunny SE facing bank, quite overgrown and at the base of some large oaks.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 11 Nov 2004

 

Dear Gemma

I think I know the site you are talking about - I thought you should know that English nature Local team has been involved with the Proposed Heathland Restoration - The Heathland Restorers have brought up the issue of Crested Newts - The likely effect of the clear felled woodland and the scraping away of the bracken, earth etc has been suggested as not very beneficial to the newt population - so English Nature has suggested that a DEFRA license would be needed for the Heathland restoration (great!) this came as a shock to the Heathland restorers as they usually dont have to get these things called a 'DEFRA license' for habitat restorations - I bet they wished they hadn't mentioned the newts (who feels like a developer now eh?)

Still there has been another complication the presence of Dormice in the woodland. This woodland is going to be cleared for the Heathland restoration well 'bare earth with lots of saplings and no bracken' restoration and so a second DEFRA license would be required.

I have heard that the English Nature team has decided that the site isnt suitable for heathland restoration - either this will be scaled back or abandoned - in favour of woodland and pond management for newts and dormice -

I would suggest that you send your report to the English Nature Local team - and the Conservation committee of the Heathland restorers -

 

Regards

 

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
GemmaJF
Admin Group
Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


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Posted: 11 Nov 2004

Me, pour petrol on the fire.. sure no problem Jon :0)

 


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant

- Nadders, hibernacula and management

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