Garden reptile sightings increase
Appeared on Space For Nature on August 17th 2003
English Nature say that the current spell of hot weather has led to an increased number of people reporting encounters with snakes to them.
Most reports of adders prove to be a case of mistaken identity; non-venomous grass snakes and slow worms regularly appear in gardens, but the venomous adder rarely does so. Reptiles are more active in this kind of weather and this, together with the fact that most of us are spending more time out of doors explains the higher incidence of sightings. The animals are particularly active when rain follows a particularly dry spell, so English Nature are warning people to be prepared when the weather breaks.
In fact surveys show that most reptiles, certainly grass snakes and adders, are actually suffering population declines. English Nature have produced a guide (PDF format) called 'Reptiles In Your Garden' which can be downloaded from their website.
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