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Helping London's Adders

Habitat management works continue to be undertaken at all four Greater London adder sites as part of a project funded by Natural England. Spring emergence counts, which are the best way to determine the status of adder populations, have revealed greater numbers of individuals than seen previously, probably due to both beneficial management carried out over the past few years, and also the cold winter, which enabled higher survival rates in hibernation than in recent years. This is because adders, like all native reptiles, use up less of their fat reserves in colder winters. At one site, no fewer than 40 animals were counted during a single visit in late March 2010, ranking this site along with some of the best in the country.

Below is a photo of a melanistic (black) adder seen during the spring monitoring period (photo copyright Will Atkins).

 


 


 

 

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