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Photographing adders wrong?

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 2:58am
Though I would concur with Will that photography could and most likely would add additional pressure to an isolated adder population and even could result in an eventual extinction... ... a word of caution.

I have increasingly heard 'pressure of photographers' being stated as a cause for declines on mismanaged sites. Danbury Common in Essex being an example. The decline was caused by poorly managed and badly executed habitat works (read site clearance). This I warned against over a decade ago.

Though the main hibernaculum is well known to local photographers the usual time for them to visit is during the male lying out period in the spring. I have rarely ever seen a male adder at this time do anything but return to its favourite spot soon after being 'disturbed'.

I have often taken pictures of adders with macro lens with their noses less than a foot from the lens. No disturbance, simply the field craft to know where to lie down on the ground and wait for them to arrive.

For sure I've known the odd 'photographer' who expects one not only to show them where to find the animals but also to hook the animals out of the habitat to pose them for a perfect shot lol.

So though I agree we have a responsibility to not disturb adder unduly, I do caution that it is becoming an increasingly popular excuse among the 'conservationists' who regularly fail miserably at their give task to blame the pressure of photographers for their own doings.

PS the clay pond is doing very well, we regularly have large frogs visiting after the introduction. Fingers crossed for spawn in the spring!

Edited by GemmaJF - 10 Nov 2016 at 2:49pm
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 5:00pm
Hello Gemma, funny time to emerge from hibernationLOL!  nice to have you back.
 
I agree absolutely - the case in Epping Forest is perhaps extreme, when you get a combination of a well-known site which is already fragmented and close to a centre of high human population.  Mismanagement is often the initial cause of the isolation / fragmentation and then the photographers or buzzards or pheasants or whatever are the final nail in the coffin.  Ideally, of course, the initial fragmentation would be avoided!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 6:36pm
lol Will, yep is odd, should be snuggling down for a long winter sleep!

Absolutely, many of us have seen the pattern, isolated islands of habitat left after management works making it easy for people and predators to find the animals. At Danbury Common the adjacent Backwarden reserve was a typical example. Clearance work removed many 'satellite' hibernacula that were known to me. The animals became concentrated at a single bank, a place well known to the photographers. This was OK for many years before the substantial clearance of surrounding habitat as many adder remained well hidden and undisturbed, when though this bank became the last 'lifeboat' for the population the writing was on the wall.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 8:54pm
Gemma, great to hear from you again and good to hear that your pond is thriving. hope your lizard colony is doing well also.

Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 9:31pm
Lizards are doing well Suz, we've tried a slow worm introduction, animals from a local development that was poorly mitigated so we felt obliged to get off what we knew was there. They all disappeared in the hot weather though, so not sure yet if they have established in the garden!
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