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The Vicar at SARG

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Noodles View Drop Down
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Joined: 05 Dec 2010
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    Posted: 07 Feb 2011 at 3:02pm
I hope this post reaches the intended recipient, i opted
for the least subtle topic title i could think of. Sounds
sinister, it's not.

I was very interested to find your (Steve L's)graphs on
the SARG website earlier. I was intrigued to note a
general high peak of sightings per hour for most reptile
species during extended periods of increased wind speeds
(albeit not always consistently; due to a number of other
associated weather and seasonal influences?).

Are the results based on tin observations (combined or
specific to species) or have you found that sightings are
more prevalent when exposed basking animals are
aggregated in sheltered areas on windier days. Although
clearly not a prodigious theory, i have long felt that
wind chill reduces the area of viable habitat used by
reptiles and also increases the need
for(sheltered)basking. I have found that windier
conditions actually increase my ability to accurately
predict the locations of reptiles whilst also increasing
the length of time the animals require to bask (thus
extending my survey period)

In which case is it appropriate for guidelines to suggest
that surveys should only be undertaken in 'ideal weather
conditions' with little or no wind? What are your
thoughts on this Steve. Statistical data, analysis and
results should surely inform the default settings for
survey standards and not the long established (but
nonetheless apparently common sensical) thought. [This
also appears applicable when considering the GCN M
Guidelines and the Cresswell NE research report on
reasonable working distances from a breeding pond]   

N.B. on a similar note my slow-worm counts are as good
(if not better) on overcast days when using artificial
refugia (although this does not appear to apply to the
snake species)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2011 at 9:02am
Yep, I've noticed this too, particularly for adder. On windy days I know which hollows will be occupied.

The answer to your questions....and the means to test your hypothesis is here: http://www.surrey-arg.org.uk/cgi-bin/statistics/Observabilit yStats2.asp
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
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