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herpetologic2
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Posted: 01 Feb 2006 Topic: 2006 is comino to life!



 

I am in Eastleigh, Hants - the figure of 96 relates to the number of spawn clumps - the most frogs I have seen in the pond over the spring at any one time is approx 30 to 35 frogs (mostly males).

I will keep people informed with the activity in the garden over the coming weeks - I plan to log water temperature and air temperatures with dataloggers - last years peak spawning occurred over the 16th to the 19th March - where peak daytime temps were hitting 18C

Regards

JC

 

 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 07 Mar 2009 Topic: First of the year?



Nice stuff

take note of the numbers for MTAC

J


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 08 Mar 2009 Topic: Blackwater Adders



Both males

J


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 08 Mar 2009 Topic: The toads are crossing roads in Wales



Where there is a means there is a way. Students -
probably mostly nocturnal in their habits and perhaps
ideally placed to carry out the necessary data
collection.

I am getting real Peter. People blindly collect toads
from roads in Hampshire and dump them into the hedge
closest to their assumed breeding site.

It has become a habit to do this without any real
collection of numbers. Yes I agree that collecting toads
from roads is important but we do need to find ways of
collecting data in a simple way (e.g. numbers of adults,
females & males each year etc) for volunteers and
possibly in a more detailed way on selected populations
using students......


Quite obviously the point of collecting toads from
roads is to attempt to lessen the effect of a lack of
ability on the amphibians part to be able to adapt
almost overnight in evolutionary terms with the sudden
appearance (again in evolutionary terms) of the
virtually insurmountable barrier of tarmac roads and the
heavy traffic that they bring with them.


I like this quote plenty of items there which need
research.

At my toad crossing I have looked at the situation
around the crossing.
After reviewing the data collected from the toad
crossing in Alresford - Drove Lane it looks like the
toads are not adapting
well to the road and its apparent impact on toad numbers
- the numbers have gone down from 1000's
to a few dozen over a 10 year period.

It looks like the road has killed off the population.
however if you look a little further there are other
factors which need to be considered.

1. Intensive salad farming has increased on the
terrestrial side of the road - plenty of burning,
ploughing and pesticide application.

2. Grass snakes on the water side of the road still
manage to find plenty of baby toads around the breeding
habitat

3. Suitable terrestrial habitat exists on the right side
of the road - the area around the breeding habitat so
the toads do not settle on the wrong side of the road
(possibly?)

4. Very large toads still cross the road each year
compared to another local crossing in Avington Park. I
would suggest that the toads at Drove lane are older and
still find
suitable habitat to survive and are lucky in crossing
the road. With lower numbers more you would assume would
survive the crossing and so carry on the tradition of
crossing the road while the new recruits do not cross
the road (I speculate)

Now this suggests possibly that the toad population has
adapted to the road - they hole up on the right side of
the road and so do not cross the road anymore because
any toadlets that make their way across the road would
not find suitable habitat.

I would suggest that the road kill may not have been the
driving force for the reduction in status (numbers)
based on the numbers collected on the road. It is
possibly the agricultural practices on the adjoining
farm.

I am intrigued by this situation and I am trying to get
access to the toad breeding pond so I can confirm
whether this still has large numbers of toads.

Also the salad production of the farm is ceasing this
year. I would like to put in place new habitats on the
terrestrial habitat side of the road.

At present the road collection is the only avenue to our
volunteers to count the toads and provide a relative
idea of whether toads are increasing at the site.

I am pleased that support for toad crossings for SWWARG
is ongoing and I hope that the data is collected.

I have an uphill struggle in Hampshire as HARG do not
want anything to do with toad crossings. I am trying to
organise people and give them support with their toad
patrols as a coordinator for Froglife through ARG UK.

You have to go through health and safety issues and risk
assessments for your volunteers to be covered under
SWWARG insurance through ARG UK so why not explain the
protocol for collecting data on toads during the
migration season.

Just an idea


Jonherpetologic239880.3280902778


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
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herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 08 Mar 2009 Topic: The toads are crossing roads in Wales



PS I hope to get students involved in looking at the
situation at my two crossings

I need all the help I can get collecting toads or
setting fencing etc and surveying the breeding habitat

J


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 10 Mar 2009 Topic: The toads are crossing roads in Wales



[QUOTE=Baby Sue]

Can I join in?!
pinkie.gif">
pinkie.gif">


á


I never knew there was a problem sticking boy and
girl toads and frogs in the same bucket.
30.gif"> IÆve worried about little toads sitting at
the bottom when thereÆs a bonking frenzy going on on top
of them and IÆve wondered if they could possibly be
squashed dead or suffocated but all my toads have made
it out alive.
25.gif"> I could never be bothered with two buckets,
I ainÆt got enough hands anyway,
50.gif"> you need one for the torch, one for the
bucket, and itÆd be useful if you had another couple for
picking them up.
/k015.gif"> & if itÆs raining I need a brolli hand.
65.gif"> & anyway IÆm too dumb to tell which is
which and if I fannied around in the dark scratching my
head wondering which bucket it should go in others
around me would be getting squashed.
isa-mano.gif">


á


BTW, Oldies?!
/c025.gif"> What do you need proper data for?
15.gif"> What do you do with it once youÆve got it?
70.gif"> If it says toads are screwed and numbers
are falling do you breed them in captivity or something
and put more out in the wild?
50.gif"> A woman at Leeds Council likes pond data
but what does she do with it when she gets it?
40.gif"> Is there breeding units somewhere?!
10.gif">
/n015.gif"> If I tell the lady frogs are
disappearing will she add more in my area?
/s005.gif">


á


[QUOTE=Mark_b] At the fast road (18:30 - 20:30) we
had ....


Toads total 49 (14 pairs, 15 singles, 6 heading back
to woods)Dead toads - 5Frogs going back - 7 Palmates -
69!!!!! (no chance of sexing them after 2 hours walking
in the very very wet rain)Dead newts - 7[/QUOTE]


WhatÆs a palmate?
25.gif">


á


I ainÆt been looking for frogs and toads this season
yet.
10.gif">
010.gif"> Now that IÆve moved house I canÆt see if
thereÆs roadkill without going out of my way.
0.gif"> The wind went away later last night so IÆm
figuring they might have started their journey by now, I
might go out tonight to see, bummer though cos IÆll have
to miss ColeenÆs Real Women.
15.gif">

[/QUOTE]

You shouldn't really be doing this alone for health and
safety. If you have more than one person then the two
bucket method can be used while single people need to
take what is suitable for them.

If you are an ARG member and you are taking up the
insurance from ARG UK then you need to carry out a risk
assessment and we would prefer that more than one person
is on a road at night with the usual safety gear - high
vis etc

J


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 10 Mar 2009 Topic: Wall Lizard Survey Methodology



The status of the wall lizards on Jersey is not certain
as a study is looking at the genetics of the populations
which are heavily associated with large buildings on the
Island etc

Also the Wall Lizards are fully protected under Jersey
State Law and any survey would require a survey license
if significant disturbance is necessary.

Wall lizards are easier to find generally - they like to
bask on walls, rocky outcrops etc unlike the viviparous
lizard and sand lizard etc

Presence surveys would be multiple survey visits over
non consecutive visits in the optimal time of year. The
only method would be visual surveys of suitable basking
areas.

Absence - likely absence would be determined after 7 to
10 visits in optimal weather and time of year.

Population estimates - possibly from the peak number of
adults seen during the survey and then multiplying this
figure by 10 and 20 - to give an estimate based on the
peak count being 5 to 10% of the population.

Mark recapture probably not practical and would need
licensing.

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
herpetologic2
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Posted: 12 Mar 2009 Topic: List of alien species in Essex



Hi Neil

Yep many of these species are still around

J


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herpetologic2
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Posted: 12 Mar 2009 Topic: Reptile Survey of Mersea Island



Hi there

I will be organising a herp survey on Mersea Island in
April - I just wondered if anyone would like to help
with this survey?

More details to follow soon


J


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
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herpetologic2
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Posted: 30 Mar 2007 Topic: Adder Translocation



How can you be sure they were captive bred from the reptiliary - as I know that this facility is stocked from adders collected elsewhere in Hampshire - perhaps gravid females were placed within the reptiliary.

Again it was regretable that this long distance translocation of 1 year old adders happened at all - as it was outside their range and the origins of the animals are not known.

Adders have disappeared from places only to be found in suitable habitats etc which are not visited by people as often as before within very close proximity to originally known sites.

Adders are elusive and avoid detection for many years in terms of normal site users - hence the percieved decline etc

Were the young adders photographed prior to release in Bedfordshire?

as how can the survival of the adders be determined?

I suspect that moving young animals short distances would have the most likely success rather than adult animals which have established ranges.

 

Slippery any more info on your research project?

 

JC

 

 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 05 Nov 2004 Topic: Tony Phelpsos article in British Wildlife



 

Well it may be based on the view that any works within an area where reptiles are known to exist - say a hibernation area (road verge, seawall etc) then that activity if found to kill or injure reptiles will be considered an offence -

My personal thoughts is that the passage which Tony wrote should have read that snake hibernation areas (especially the adder) should have the same protection as badger setts and bat roosts.

Lets face it the protection badgers have is related to persecution and it not related to their conservation status - they are quite well off being more 'common' than the red fox which is declining

Adder are still being persecuted and one of the ways people do this is to raid hibernacula in the spring so there is a need to protect the species in this way - also the hibernation areas are being found to be an important part of the ecology of snakes and reptiles

The adder needs more protection definitely!!!!

 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 05 Nov 2004 Topic: Tony Phelpsos article in British Wildlife



Matt

that is absolutely right

but if works were carried out on a site where it was known to support reptiles and no attempt was made of reasonably avoiding the 'killing or injury' of reptiles ie a translocation, re timing of works, habitat manipulation prior to work etc and reptiles were found dead and injured then there is a case -

It is often cited that reptile deaths as a result of habitat management, undertaken on SSSI's for instance, is an incidental result of a lawful activity..... but they seem to leave out that it had to be 'reasonably avoided' under the Wildlife and Countryside act -

so if dead animals are found after grass cutting, scrub clearance and there was evidence that the contractors or their employers knew that reptiles were present then there is a case for a prosecution -

I believe that this is currently being tested in court cases....we will have to wait and see

 

Jon

 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 08 Nov 2004 Topic: Tony Phelpsos article in British Wildlife



 

Well this depends on whether the evidence is present and there is the will to prosecute from the police and CPS - quite often I hear the certain organisations are a law into themselves and these aren't powerful rich development companies if you know what I mean.

Scrub clearance has occurred on sites in the control of the corporation and adders were killed - previously there was no attempt to discourage adders from the area to be disturbed and so the killing of even a single adder without an attempt to prevent them getting in the way is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act - lawful operation and reasonably avoided etc

It becomes increasingly difficult when the wildlife organisations 'break the law' or carry out tasks without proper surveys and then expect the developers to spend thousands of pounds on mitigation before they build houses, roads etc

The developers find out about different projects around the country and often cite them as a reason why they shouldn't waste money and time on mitigation - if it is okay for them then it is okay for us

Wildlife organisations NGO's etc should set the example - we not talking about putting up expensive reptile fencing (well perhaps a little) we are talking about surveying sites prior to management works, using habitat manipulation to prevent reptiles from colonising clearance areas - highlighting important scrub patches which are used for basking, hibernation etc so the ecology of the animals are protected and of course monitoring afterwards

Can it be done?

J




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 09 Nov 2004 Topic: Coastal adders and reptiles



Dear all

I have recently recieved some interesting records of adders being spotted on small islands, and amongst salt marsh in the estuaries of Essex (thanx to EWT).

We have several costal adder/reptile sites where they live on the seawalls and I am very interested to know if anyone else has any coastal populations of adders.

Some of the best sightings have come from seawalls where the vegetation has been left undisturbed. An important issue in regards to these habitat restoration projects where the seawall is breached and the land is flooded with saltwater - Changes in the behaviour of male adders have been noted at the Abbotts Hall realignment project - over 2004 English Nature has commissioned a survey to look at the effects of the marsh restoration - adders are now basking on the drying mud left after each tide - its a good job that adders have been spotted swimming in the sea in this area as how else would these animals get to their summer grounds from the overwintering grounds (seawall).

 

Regards

Jon

 




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Posted: 11 Nov 2004 Topic: Nadders, hibernacula and management



 

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




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Posted: 17 Jun 2005 Topic: Springwatch Grass snake release



 

Well thats seems to be better then - I just thought hang on this is Simon King telling me that moving grass snakes large distances is a good idea? It will be good to see how far the little critters move as they are a long way from home - the ones on the TV were over 2 years old and so may have already imprinted on their home range

Looking forward to the results

 

JC

 




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Posted: 17 Jun 2005 Topic: Re: Epping Forest adder survey



 

Hi Danial

Who is organisng the meeting? I was one of the surveyors last year. I would alos like to be informed of progress on this survey

I did have a great time in Skiathos, Greece - I tried to find some snakes only one live sighting - but I did find a black grass snake (dead) and another which I have yet to identify (dead aswell) it was hay cutting time so the poor snakes got mangled.

Will post some photos on the Euro page

 

Regards

 

Jon 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 17 Jun 2005 Topic: Predation - is it possible?



 

A word of warning for all you felt tilers out there - Carrion Crows have been observed on a site ont he the Isle of Wight where felt and tin were being used for slowworm surveys - the bird surveyor watched a crow lift a felt tile corner and captured a slowworm and then flew off with it -

I have also seen a fox systematically check tins, felts and carpet tiles on an airfield - We had removed them all during the day while we were looking for newts at night the fox was spotted moving between the places where the groups of tiles were placed.

Some of the tiles were found flipped - we thought that it may have been strong winds - very strong winds as the tiles were quite large - it may just be mammals that the fox was after but if any lizards were under there in the early evening then they would have gone down the same hungry mouth - though if a crestie was found it would have taught the fox a lesson eh?

JC




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Posted: 19 Jun 2005 Topic: Any tips for hot weather?



 

It will be very difficult to find adders in the middle of the day in the heat - and I normally find that most adders would not be under tins in very hot conditions - it may depend on the amount of dead thatch underneath. I have found a female adder once under a piece of tin in very hot conditions the majority of snakes on my sites do not use tins that much as there is plenty of habitat around them.

Early morning and very late afternoon would be the best times to go out to spot adders - you would probably find pregnant females while the males etc would be in deep cover

Regards

JC

 




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herpetologic2
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Posted: 19 Jun 2005 Topic: DEFRA Licensing -



 

I am not sure if this news has been put on the Forum but I have a link to the DEFRA website which explains the situation around licensing and thankfully it ha snot gone to local authorities!

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/consult/habitats1/index.htm

The results of the consultation

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/consult/habitats1/result-letter.pdf

Please discuss as I am sure that many of you will

 

Cheers

JC




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