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Altitude reached by Vipera berus in UK?

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Wolfgang Wuster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Altitude reached by Vipera berus in UK?
    Posted: 04 Jun 2003 at 1:52pm
Just wondering: does anyone here have any information on the altitudes reached by adders in the UK? The Beebee & Griffiths New Naturalists' Handbook has nothing on this, so before starting a literature chase, I thought I'd be lazy and see if anyone here has the info at their fingertips

Cheers,

Wolfgang
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Alan Hyde View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2003 at 2:12pm

Hi Wolfgang ..

I'm 100% on this but , I think a small book I sent to Filthy has something about berus and altitudes . It might be worth asking him .

Cheers,

Alan

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Alan Hyde View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan Hyde Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2003 at 2:54pm
Oops! Incase you hadn't guessed that should've been ,"I'm NOT 100% on this"
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Wolfgang Wuster View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wolfgang Wuster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2003 at 5:07pm
Hi Tony,

That's the impression I had as well. The reasonf or my asking was simply that we came across some habitat that looked perfect (nice thick heather, plenty of sun traps etc.) at ~4-500 m asl last week-end, and started musing about whether there was any potential for adders there.

When I lived in Aberdeen, all the adders I saw there were very much on the Valley bottoms on Deeside - I will have to look up the altitude.

I guess the Alps are so high that the adders up there get the benefit of extra heat radiation, whereas over here, they just get the extra rain...

Cheers,

Wolfgang
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-LAF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2003 at 9:39pm

Whilst in Wales the single most productive sites that I found for common lizards (LOTS!) was behind Llyn Padarn where they occured along a path up to just below 400m where they stopped quite abruptly. There was a fabulous looking Adder site above one of the disused quarries just off this path also at around 400m (I'm checking this of the OS map as I type so should be fairly accurate) that was flat, awash with heather, had rock piles etc. Spent quite a while checking for Adders around it. There were plenty of bits of human scrap (boards, metal, tyres) that I checked under but all to no avail.  No sign of Adders or Lizards (the weather was good for it too).  There was another excellent looking site on the sides of Foel Dduarth at around 300m but that too proved unproductive (Slow worms nearby at 200m though, 1 dead on a road). The highest altitude I've found any Adders in N. Wales was 135m on the island.

I was in Devon/Somerset all last week and went about speaking to the people at the Exmoor National Park centres. At one place apparently Adders are regularly seen on the high moors (They're crawling with common lizards), often by ENP staff, which here is between 300-350m. Unfortuanately public transport times meant we could only visit the site between 11am and 5pm (not the best Adder watching times). We didn't see any but the information seems reliable. Staff were surprised that we didn't see a single one during our 3 visits as they see them on a frequent basis.

This makes the Exmoor site the highest Adder site I've ever encountered in the UK.

Cheers, Lee.

Lee Fairclough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2003 at 4:13am
Nice one Tony, glad you got the snakes you wanted despite the weather - although only a herpetologist would complain that is was 35ŚC when they went to Italy!

Cheers, Lee.
Lee Fairclough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote -LAF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2003 at 4:49pm
If you are after habitat pics for the upland sites I'm affraid I only have digital files (I do have a 16.5 million pixel narrow field panoramic but only as an 8bit tiff, jpeg shown, if you want it I'll send it on CD as it's a 50Mb file). My girlfriend may have the same location on 35mm transparency so I will check.



Cheers, Lee.
Lee Fairclough
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ewan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jul 2003 at 7:09pm

Hi
I've seen V. berus at the following two locations and elevations that may be of use to you:

Hi Ewan, welcome to RAUK, we have a policy of not giving precise locations openly on the forum, so I have removed your references. Please only communicate precise locations privately by the forum PM system or e-mail in future.

I do appreciate that the locations were very remote, but I'm particularly worried about berus being persecuted and as the rule was agreed by all the original forum members I felt it best they were deleted.


Cheers

Ewan Shilland

Environmental Change Research Centre
University College London



Edited by administrator
Ewan Shilland
Contract Research Scientist
Environmental Change Research Centre
University College London
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ewan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2003 at 11:10am
Oops, sorry, spot the new guy.
In precis they were records from 390/395m elevation in northern Scotland. I've also seen adders at about 370m in the galloway forest park in SW Scotland.

Ewan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j gaughan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Aug 2003 at 7:34pm
nice one ewan

and tony _on a high welsh 'adder' :

i received an interesting 2nd hand report from a portsmouth field herpetologist i was 'bracken spraying' with last week;
on august 9th, he climbed a 900m peak in 'snowdonia national park' and was afterwards informed by a fellow climber / naturalist type of an adder seen during his ascent; the snake was on the narrow (animal) trackway through heather, used by climbers, at an estimated altitude of c 600m; i'll be carefully 'checking the maps' with him this week _his own herp encounter that weekend being a humble 'common frog' in a crevice

_on scottish highland adders :

just a 1970 lit. ref. to a glen beside 'loch ness' that rises to over 750m

_on a N england report :

received a reliable record (very close views) from parents at my daughters school _while cycling in
the 'yorkshire dales national park', with surrounding land rising to over 450m; they have a precise grid ref


_on SE english adders :

our 'highest' wealden site is c 230m asl with 'melanic' form of viviparious lizard & adder present; _ the highest natural point in the region being 294m at 'leith hill', surrey

it would be nice to keep an (updatable) register of known 'high altitude populations' of our herps on these islands

tony, i'll PM details of the above to you, when complete

john
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