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Quest to find the adder answer

PUBLISHED: 23:34 13 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:00 03 March 2010

A SNAKE hunt is being launched to try and find out the truth about the adders that are out there.

Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group is to carry out the county's first comprehensive adder survey and is asking people to help out.

A SNAKE hunt is being launched to try and find out the truth about the adders that are out there.

Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group is to carry out the county's first comprehensive adder survey and is asking people to help out.

Adders, like many other species of wildlife, are under threat due to habitat loss. However, unlike birds, insects and mammals, adders are not a very mobile species and are therefore even more susceptible.

Dorothy Casey, Suffolk Wildlife Trust conservation manager, said: "We are incredibly lucky here. The Suffolk Brecks and Sandlings are two of the few places in Britain to have substantial adder populations but we really don't know how they're faring"

"Because we're familiar with them it's easy to take adders for granted but more information is needed to gauge the health and conservation status of what has become a character species for Suffolk – a species that gives the county its natural distinctiveness."

Adders live in a variety of habitats, but prefer open or semi-open habitats on south facing slopes. Heathland is ideal, but they can also be found in rough grassland, fens, scrubby areas, sand dunes, the roughs of golf courses, along forestry rides and in clear-felled areas and on railway embankments and sea walls.

Mrs Casey said: "It is vital that we locate unrecorded and established adder sites in order to manage the habitat accordingly and protect these reptiles from inappropriate developments. We are keen to hear of sightings from people all over the county.

"It's best to look for them in the morning and evening and provide an accurate grid reference and date if possible. But do not disturb basking adders. It's best to observe them from a distance using binoculars if you have them".

People should report adder sightings to county recorder in writing to Rosie Norton, 3 Wood View, Sibton, Saxmundham, Suffolk IP17 2NH. Email rosie@brundish.demon.co.uk

For more information please contact Suffolk Wildlife Trust conservation manager Dorothy Casey on 01473 890089.

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