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Make the Adder Count

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    Posted: 09 Feb 2005 at 6:00pm
Make the Adder Count

A Springtime Adder Survey

for 2005


Can you help monitoring adders?

This spring The Herpetological Conservation Trust is co-ordinating an adder census.  This is a pilot project for what we hope will become an annual count, providing information on the status of populations of this snake, nationally.


The adder is a reptile of particular conservation concern.  Although it is BritainĘs most widespread snake, there is a strong body of collective information pointing towards long-term national decline.  Our project will test the feasibility of an annual monitoring scheme that will:

  • More accurately quantify the extent of decline
  • Strengthen the case for, and guide, proactive conservation
  • Provide a yardstick against which to measure the effectiveness of any future conservation effort.

How you can help

We want to gain a measure of national population status by counting adders after their springtime emergence from winter hibernacula.  At this time of year (February to May, depending on weather and geographical location) adders can be readily visible, lying out, often in aggregations. 


If you or your colleagues regularly visit an adder hibernation/aggregation site, or know of a site where you could arrange visits, then a simple count of snakes could help us to help the adder.


If you already have data on the numbers of adders you have seen at a particular site (or sites) over past years, we would also be interested to hear from you.

What sort of experience you need

Gathering data for this project will require a good working knowledge of at least one local adder population, familiarity with adder activity patterns and experience of observing these snakes.  If you do not have the necessary experience, but want to get involved, then we recommend that you contact your nearest amphibian and reptile group. These groups may be able to provide the necessary training or organise local counts.  Contact information is available from Froglife (01733 558844,

How to take part

To take part in the project, or to obtain further information, contact a project co-ordinator.


For South-east England (Kent, London, Surrey and Sussex) contact Lee Brady:

Phone: 01227 751408

Fax: 0870 1330925


Other areas contact John Baker:

Phone: 01986 872016

Mobile: 07884 441521



Make the Adder Count is a pilot project that will feed into the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS), a joint initiative being developed by English Nature, Froglife, the Herpetofauna Groups of Britain and Ireland and The Herpetological Conservation Trust.


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