Reptile hibernacula - providing a winter refuge


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

    A study in 1999 on a heathland site in Berkshire, southern England, UK (Stebbings 2000) found that an artificial hibernaculum was used by common lizards Zootoca vivipara and adders Vipera berus. Following construction, three adult lizards were observed basking near entrance holes and three adder skins were discovered. An artificial hibernaculum was constructed 40 m away from a bank that was to be destroyed as part of a road development. A ditch was dug (20 x 1 x 1 m) and hollow concrete building blocks were used to create underground chambers, with plastic piping (5 cm diameter) providing entrance tunnels. Bark mulch was added to any gaps and the structure was backfilled and covered with turf and native shrubs. Observations of reptiles at the hibernaculum were conducted on one day in April 1999.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

Output references
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