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MERSEA ISLAND ESSEX ADDERS

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jul 2010 at 6:57pm
Hi Keith, I find life is generally better away from
internet forums

"The first clearance which was some distance away from
the
ponds and main adder area has developed into very nice
habitat - we can only hope that the reptiles have
recolonised."

It's nothing to do with hope, it's to do with proper
survey, the answer is no the area is not recolonised by
adder, slowworms or grass snakes, a few common lizard
occasionally. I wouldn't expect the area to be
recolonised by adder for years to come, the soil
structure is destroyed so not really very nice habitat if
you are an adder. It use to be mature gorse and adder of
all lifestages could be found at the bases it was an
extremely important area for congregations of gravid
females.. not anymore.

So Jon when are you going to put my name forward for
consideration as county recorder to the field club like
you said you would? Then I can send my extensive Essex
records to myself.

You never know I might even be able to mend a few of the
bridges that got burnt, I do seem to have rather a lot of
time on my hands these days.... The record of you saying
it was a 'good thing'that the numbers were increasing at
the main hibernacula at Backwarden is BTW still on this
forum, I'm not about to dig out the thread but it was
your own words. Of course my data is not based on a
spring head count alone which could lead to sweeping
conclusions, rather 6 years now of careful recording
throughout the active season across the entire site.

Edited by GemmaJF
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2010 at 9:15am
Gemma

If you want to be the Essex Herpetofauna Recorder then I
can send this email to Peter Harvey and they will approve
this appointment and so you can take on the data
searches, and the role of county recorder for Essex. I
would assume that you are a member of the field club?

I would like to use your data to compare the Backwarden
with other Essex adder sites - I have lots of spring
count data which is just a record of the spring emergence
which is when most adders are seen (mostly males) and the
simplest method to monitor numbers.

I have never said that the clearance as it stands was a
good thing at the Backwarden - we have tried to influence
what the EWT were doing - we even had face to face
meetings about the issue and they were hiding behind the
local Natural England Team - who were funding the habitat
clearance.

The small initial clearance nearest the road is the bit
where I thought if I could survey I would find reptiles -
the rest of the area which has been cleared has been a
disaster for the reptile population along with the
Dormice that were found there.

I have also tried to stop the works around the gcn pond -
in fact Paul Cantwell from NE investigated the matter and
actually found that they had the wrong license - a clear
case of destroying newt terrestrial habitat - no
significant action was taken - in fact I was not even
invited to the site meeting - it was Paul, Local NE, and
EWT - so of course they were found out - Mark Iley was
given a general license to clear vegetation by hand tools
yet they were using heavy machinery.

So all I would like to know Gemma is how many snakes were
seen during the spring through your field surveys - you
will be fully credited and I will only use the data for
conservation purposes -

Once you have become the county recorder I will forward
all the county data to you -0 I think that would be
possible through the Essex field Club website and their
species database.


Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2010 at 9:17pm
Yes Jon I am a member of the Essex field club.

I guess I've heard a different story regarding Backwarden
on the ground. It was very much a case of being told that
after your meeting with EWT they seemed to think you
supported the works.

Shame as if I had also attended the meeting I could have
provided a further two years of records which indicated
the amount of damage being done to the adder populations
by habitat clearance work at Backwarden and the adjacent
Danbury Common.

I know all about the various parties hiding behind each
other, very frustrating it is too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2010 at 8:08am
hi Gemma I think the main problem of Herp conservation in my areas in Suffolk still lies with the people running organisations like Nat england and the likes , are all mainly twitchers,whose ony interest in our area is to rip out all the hibennacular on various local heaths to promote the stone curlew with new habitat at the expense of other animals ,because the stone curlews original habitat has been ruined by past farming practices .Also had a report of the odd adder seen on the golf course near west Bergholt??I also viewed Layer Breton heath at Birch yesterday but bit to warm, but had been told by a local naturalist, that grass snakes and lizards and sloworms were -present but you cant rule out adders because they havent been spotted as its a large area still plenty of gatekeepers about , keith


Edited by AGILIS
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2011 at 11:16pm
Great news - the grave created at Mersea Island aka the hibernacula has been used by 4 adders this spring!

Dougal had seen an adder right on top of the hibernacula which featured on a radio broadcast this spring to highlight the plight of the adder.

Sadly Dougal did not have a camera!!

D'oh!

I will be out there next spring to record the animal locations for sure


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Dec 2011 at 8:09am
Hi you did you did not mention what date they were spotted.keith
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2012 at 6:07pm
The warden swears it was in the spring - I will get hold of the dates - he did not have a camera with him mind lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2012 at 8:35pm
I started reading this thread and thought lucky old Keith seeing so much on 14th January. Then I saw it was 6th July 2010!Embarrassed Ye gods!
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