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Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK


Can you help monitoring adders?

Make the Adder Count is a survey co-ordinated by Amphibian & Reptile Conservation. Following a successful pilot project in 2005, we plan to turn it into a long-term national surveillance programme, collating data from many sites, to monitor trends in adder populations. The adder is a reptile of particular conservation concern to many people. Although it is Britain's most widespread snake, there is a strong body of collective information pointing towards long-term national decline. Make the Adder Count aims to:
  • Provide a yardstick against which to measure the effectiveness of any future conservation effort.
  • Create a focus for local survey and conservation work.
  • Raise awareness of adder conservation issues.
  • Provide quantitative data to monitor trends in population status.
  • Strengthen the case for better protection and guide proactive conservation.
  • Provide a yardstick against which to measure the effectiveness of any future conservation effort.
  • Raise awareness of adder conservation issues.


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 are at their most visible, lying out, sometimes 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 does 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 in either Make the Adder Count or other reptile (or amphibian) survey work, then we recommend that you contact your nearest amphibian and reptile group. These groups are local sources of reptile expertise and may be able to provide the necessary training or organise counts. Contact information is available from the project co-ordinator (details below).

How to take part

To take part in the project, or to obtain further information, please contact the project co-ordinator, John Baker:

Phone: 01986 872016
Mobile: 07884 441521

Make the Adder Count is part of the National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS) project, an initiative being run by a partnership of organisations, led by Amphibian & Reptile Conservation. If you wish to take part in NARRS please go to for details.