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The Camden Creature

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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: 12 Apr 2011 at 5:53pm
First one of the year, last week, 23 deg C.  This is three weeks earlier than I've seen them previously; I guess at least one didn't mind the -20 degC winter temps too much...


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arvensis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2011 at 10:28pm
Nice to hear they're still around Will.  Also nice to see a balanced paper article, compared to the normally biased rubbish.   I'm thinking about taking a trip up to London in the next couple of months to look for them and would appreciate any pointers on how to find them.

Cheers, Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2011 at 9:31am
Hi Mark

it's pot luck, really - I reckon to have at best a 50:50 chance assuming weather conditions are right - a narrow temp window of between 19 and 23 degC.  They can be 2m off the ground as well as in all the usual places more typical of our native snakes, and most likely they'll be mosaic-basking doing very little at all.  If you pm me, I'll give you a few specific pointers

Cheers

Will
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Apr 2011 at 5:01pm
I was interested to find the same individual as the one pictured above today, but in the zoo grounds and at least 200m from where he was a couple of weeks ago.  Looks like s/he's also up for a shed, judging from the eye.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 6:11pm
Tired to send you a PM Will, but your inbox appears to be full.  I'm off to London next Tuesday so hopefully the weather will play ball.

Cheers, Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2011 at 7:56pm
judging by your highly enthusiastic and repetitious (no offence intended - great to see!) postings/pix of this alien Will, do i correctly interpret that you hope this species will survive and thrive in the UK -despite your aforementioned odds against establishment?

ben
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2011 at 7:58pm
Hi Mark - sorry, can't seem to get into my inbox to delete old pm's - email me at lehartrust@hotmail.com instead

Hi Ben - sorry for  being repetitious, but the coincidence of me working ten mins' drive away and the presence of these fascinating beasts is too much!  given their lack of impact in Colwyn Bay (since the 70's), and the dearth of snakes in Camden apart from these illegal immigrants, I'm quite fond of them, I guess.  I admire the way they've hung on for two decades or more, with 99.9% of people walking straight past them.  It's also possible that they could provide useful info on the conservation of relict (natural) populations at the edge of the species' range, especially with DNA analysis getting easier and cheaper.  So, on balance, in this special case, yes.  But I'm not going to get drawn into the pro's and con's of other species like the wall and green lizards...

Cheers

Will
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2011 at 8:43pm
Keep up the reports Will I find them fascinating.

I think very much a special case as there is no real threat of this species extending it's current range in the UK or any obvious threat to native species.

As far as I know this wasn't an intentional introduction, rather a single escapee, amazing that an apparently healthy population exists.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2011 at 9:55am
Thanks Gemma; I couldn't agree more.  I think there may have been several original escapees, rather than the single gravid female which started the WMZ population, so perhaps the Camden ones have slightly less chance of inbreeding effects (but then again, I'm amazed that the WMZ population is still thriving given that they're presumably all as closely related as you can get).  It would be interesting to do a genetic analysis of the Camden animals, but of course this would require a special licence etc. 

One other point about them which I find interesting from an ecological point of view is that they occupy such a different niche from our native snakes (and most other snakes in Europe), occupying quite shaded woodland.  In France for example, where they are native, this lack of competition with other snake species has been documented by various authors.  It makes a change to find a snake 2m up a tree !

Cheers

Will
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arvensis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2011 at 11:53am
Cheers for the reply to the e-mail Will.   I'll be spending a hour or 2 looking for them on Tuesday if the weather plays ball(at the moment it looks iffy).

Mark
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