Study

Adder Vipera berus hibernacula construction as part of a mitigation scheme, Norfolk, England

  • Published source details Whiting C. & Booth H. (2012) Adder Vipera berus hibernacula construction as part of a mitigation scheme, Norfolk, England. Conservation Evidence, 9, 9-16.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Translocate reptiles away from threats: Snakes and lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Translocate reptiles away from threats: Snakes and lizards

    A study in 2009–2011 in grazing marshes in Norfolk, UK (Whiting & Booth 2012) found that some adders Vipera berus translocated away from flood defence works to man-made hibernacula bred, returned to the hibernacula to overwinter, and survived for at least eighteen months. Six months after translocation, up to 22 adders/day were recorded on the man-made hibernacula, including one newborn snake. Eighteen months after translocation, 21 of 119 (18%) translocated adders were sighted on or near the hibernacula. In addition, 19 new adders were observed in the vicinity. Viviparous lizards Lacerta vivipara (including juveniles) and grass snakes Natrix helvetica were also recorded on and near the hibernacula 12–18 months after they were built. In September 2009, three hibernacula (100 m approximate length; 1.5 m high, 3 m wide with 45° front and rear slopes) were constructed from natural materials on grazing marshes separated by drainage ditches (see original paper for design details). Each hibernaculum and some of the adjacent grazing area (1 ha total) was enclosed by semi-permanent fencing (plastic sheeting and wooden posts). In March 2010, a total of 119 adders were translocated from nearby flood banks that were subject to flood defence works (which took place May–October 2010). The fencing was opened from mid-May 2010. Adders were monitored in September–October 2010, March–May and July–September 2011.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Create artificial refuges, hibernacula and aestivation sites

    A study in 2009–2011 in grazed marsh in Norfolk, UK (Whiting & Booth 2012) found that some translocated adders Vipera berus released onto man-made hibernacula bred, returned to the hibernacula to overwinter and survived for at least 18 months. Six months after translocation, up to 22 adders/day were recorded on the man-made hibernacula, including one newborn adder, indicating breeding success. Eighteen months after translocation, 21 of 119 translocated adders were sighted on or near the hibernacula. In addition, 19 new adders were observed in the vicinity. Viviparous lizards (including juveniles) and grass snakes Natrix helvetica were also recorded on and near the hibernacula 12–18 months after they were built. In September 2009, three hibernacula (100 m approximate length; 1.5 m high, 3 m wide with 45° front and rear slopes) were constructed from natural materials on grazing marshes separated by drainage ditches. Each hibernacula and some adjacent grazed land (1 ha total) were enclosed by semi-permanent fencing (plastic sheeting and wooden posts). In March 2010, a total of 119 adders were translocated from nearby flood banks that were subject to flood defence works (which took place May-October 2010). The fencing was opened from mid-May 2010. Adders were monitored in September–October 2010, March–May and July–September 2011.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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