the online meeting place for all who love our amphibians and reptiles
Home Page Live Forums Archived Forums Site Search Identify Record Donate Projects Links
Forum Home Forum Home > Conservation > Projects and Grants
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Looking at new project
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Looking at new project

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
spaniel View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spaniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Looking at new project
    Posted: 16 Oct 2004 at 8:24pm

Hello all

This is my first post  and feel a bit reluctant/shy!

I have been reading through alot of the posts and feel abit lacking in the knowledge department (green) but guess we all have to start somewhere.

I am looking to start a research project for my HNC and hopefully it will be used as a starting block for the continuation reasearch and vitale data as to local adder population in the assigned area.

Excuse me if I am being abit sheepish with details but all is not set in stone.

The project is looking to be very big well in my eyes. If I may ask for help in the near future, if a specialist or even the forum would like to take me under his/her wing then I would be forever thankful.

My HNC is is in wildlife and countryside, the project is over two years with possible extension to an unlimited time scale.

The possible project is looking into adder population and possible effect by certain land practices in my local area. I am hoping to get some help with the study as I can't do it alone and this is looking good. The right people are on myside and willing/backing it for it to be a great success.

So if okay I will be posting for info and technical help

 

many thanks

Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2004 at 10:29am
Welcome! Don't be shy I ask the daftess things when I'm not sure and that is part of the reason why this forum exists. Out of interest which county will the project be in?
Back to Top
spaniel View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spaniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2004 at 1:32pm

Many thanks for the warm welcome to the forum.

The County is Staffordshire and has fantastic variation of wildlife with some amazing adders.

The people I know have asked why adders since  2 of my dogs had adder bites last year in the same area as I want to do the study.

My reasons are I can't hold anything against the adder and secondly I know very little about it so how can I form any type of opinion!

 

Back to Top
Vicar View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 02 Sep 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1184
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2004 at 2:01pm

Spaniel

Presumably, your first step will be to write up some sort of plan. Outlining what you want to achieve (goals) and then a broad outline of how to go about it (method).

From personal experience, starting to write up a plan forces you to think logically about the ideas whizzing around your brain, and is the fastest surest way to highlight where your thoughts are clear, and where they are fuzzy and need direction.

As you flesh out the 'plan' you can start to rationalise the scope of the 'vision' and start tangible planning which can be taken forward into effect.

Just my thoughts !

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2004 at 3:00pm

I would start by wondering what it is I'm setting out to achieve. From what you have said I think you have established presence already! (out of interest were your dogs bitten in the spring?).

So I pressume you will be looking at either population estimates or relative population estimates and monitoring of the population over time. There is a vast difference between the 2 and how they approached, relative estimates being useful from a conservation stand point and easier to achieve.

Other issues with adder are whether or not you are prepared/able to handle them if for example photo ID is required. Adder survey isn't restricted to the use of refugia either, they are one species where I would thoroghly recommend visual survey, not only is it very effective in early spring for locating animals but also very rewarding when you see behaviour such as males mate searching and the legendary dance of the adder ;0)

Back to Top
spaniel View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spaniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2004 at 11:44pm

Well guys that gives me something to look into!

I have spoke with my course tutor tonight and seemed pleased that I was considering undertaking this project, so it looks like all is starting to fall into place.(fingers crossed)

I have started to draw up a rough plan for a meeting that I have with the wildlife officer of the intended area and see what guidance he can give.

My first thoughts was to conduct the survey with the use of refugia, Looking deeper into this it seems right location and material used play a massive factor into results obtained including time of year.

By the looks of it this survey hasn't been done before on this site which is also habitat dependent through the forestry process and how they alter the environment.

 

My plan is to take 4 areas in which the forestry process is at different stages and assess the habitat and adder population for that area and do a comparison as to the changing state of habitat Vs population over time and hopefully giving an answer as to what effect it has on numbers. does this sound do-able and any advice or changes, recommendations

 

I need to establish best method and way to assess population, what would be the best?population estimates or relative population estimates

Thickness showing - what is the main difference and method deployed.

Oh Gemma my dogs were bitten march and april.

Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2004 at 10:20am

Refugia survey is all well and good and I would certainly use them as a tool for this project also but as you said your dogs were bitten in March and April.. this is when adder are slow after hibernation and very approachable. (for the rest of the season they would be off like rockets, hence why dogs are often bitten in the spring as this is when they are most likely to encounter the snakes). If you can start your project from mid February onwards you can take full advantage of this fact and include visual survey.

The reason I'm saying this is I know for a fact that it can take up to a year for adder to use refugia, I've seen this more than once. For adder use tin, you would be wasting your time with roofing felt unless they were extremely large and also get the refugia down early say the end of January to allow them to 'establish'.

Using visual in the spring will quickly give an idea of population size. It will also allow you to identify hibernacula, which are a vital feature of adder ecology. For example if during your project a communal hibernacula was destroyed it would skew any results as the entire population might perish!

A relative population estimate can also use a mixture of refugia and visual survey so make the most of both methods. The Froglife methodolgy for estimating relative population size is straightforward.

You can use both refugia and visual survey. The maximum density of refugia should not exceed 10 per hectare (this is a vast number of refugia at most sites and few people would use such a high density in practice)

All you do is check your refugia and carefully look for snakes. The best count you get for a single day in any given survey period is your relative population estimate. The only stipulation is that the count must be by a single observer.

Once you have your number the population is estimated as follows

<5 Low Population

5-10 Good Population

>10 Exceptional population

 

As you will be recording areas over time you will be able to monitor if populations increase of decrease as a result of the management work.

There is a little book in the Shire Natural History Series by Peter Stafford simply called 'The Adder' ISBN 0 85263 879 5. It costs about 2.50. I would recommend it to anyone setting out to work with adder, it gives a very good description of visual survey techniques and when and how to find them. There is also a fairly good background of 'facts' though some might be disputed these days.

Just to emphasis the point about visual, if at one site last year I had relied on refugia only to estimate the population after 12 visits the population would have stood at 1 neonate adder.

Visual survey revealed that the population was actually 'good'.

Oh just one more point, relative population estimates are based only on adult animals, you can't count juveniles and sub-adults.

The difference with relative population estimate is you don't have to capture all the snakes and mark them or at least photo ID them, so it's much easier and a lot less stressful for both you and the snakes!



Edited by administrator
Back to Top
administrator View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group


Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 10
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote administrator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2004 at 10:38am
Just to add another angle, you may want to modify your methodology to include neo and juveniles (you would certainly want to record them even if they don't count towards a relative population estimate) as they are good indicators of colonisation, so as each managed area matures you may well pick-up neo snakes. Also neos will use refuga especially tin.

Edited by administrator
Back to Top
evilmike View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 15 May 2004
Status: Offline
Points: 85
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evilmike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2004 at 11:18am

track down the herp workers manual, jncc that will provide you with techinques and was very helpful when i did my Viper berus dissertation.

Mike Lister BSc hons Ecology & Env management
Back to Top
spaniel View Drop Down
Member
Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spaniel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2004 at 1:46pm

I can't thank you enough for all the info, books etc this will keep me busy for a few weeks or so.

I think the visual is going to be a very good idea to include based on your past findings. I think all the info that you all have given is great and can only increase my success.

thank you all so much and will keep you posted on the progress.

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.059 seconds.