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Episode 7 · 5 months ago

#7 UK Species & Habitats: Adders (Part 2)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Hello and welcome back to Naturelab! Today's episode is the second half to our two part podcast. Dan and Max talk and dicuss the conservation efforts and value of the UK's only native venomous snake, the Adder! This episode will go into depth on how and why she should conserve these creatures and how they benefit our precious ecosystems. 

Hello, welcome back to Nach lob theshower. We talk about everything and anything about nature. I'm one of youco host Max and today I'm joined once again that with another one of our Cohorsts down. So today we today he's going to beanother shorter episode as well, and we're going to be talking about adders.So this is how it's going to work. Dan's Goin, to ask me asses a fewquestions based on adders, the habitat, the frets and the conservation effortsof the species yeah, okay. So let's get straight intoit! So Max. I have a question for you. I've never said that. Why are addersand why are they so important to the UK? Okay. So, first of all, I'm going tostart with the general background of the adder by starting with thedistribution in the UK. These snakes are actly the most common species ofsnakes found in the British isles while having the wines Disibil of any otherterrestrial snake of appearing to be the most abundantdown in the southern parts of England. However, their population disputedistribution has now started to to be...

...more broken up. For Our Scotland,England and Wales, if we look back into the past around the Tome of NinetyNinety two, there was a survey in Scotland which was primarily aimedtowards farmers. This survey covered ninety four percent of Scotland,mainland and the in the isles included. These serve is showed at the adderVipera Beras was spread across Scotland was per widely across Scotland, so,however, they did not seem to be. They did seem to be a lack of individualswhen it came to the Central Valley, the Hour Hebrides, which is the archipelagoof islands and the northern isles of Scotland itself. They also seem to likeany dispotion whatsoever in island. Okay, what about their college as well?So when it comes to Ocola, adders are reptiles, which means they need to havea certain survival requirements at which the habitat needs to fill. Forexample, these species unknown to...

...hibernate for at the winter they useunderground sites to hibernate in before they emerge yoing during earlyspring, due to them being reptiles as well.They are colboth re fore that they need to have areas which has easy access tosunlights. They can bass for a few for the few weeks to regain their energybefore they go into the matines. They also known to travel to a wetterenvironment, usually adjacent to their normal hibernating environment whenthey need to feed they tend to inhibit habitats which have slopes or gully,but will not always necessarily turn away from a flat ground location.However, the Habana habent ing habitats need good drainage. This species typically living lowheathums, which are usually cured by thick but low ground vegetation likeGorse, bramble and Bracken. However, they require a different habit up forfeeding a basting like mentioning earlier, so they usually see cut boneslike ponds streams and Martians. One...

...fact to which affects their populationnumbers, however, is their mate in ecology. I already mentioned brieflythat the undergo a man season after a few weeks before they can mate males are often the one who actuallysee how mad partners, because females only have a small slough of time whenthey will make on top of this. The females also have a low ability toproduce offspring because it takes very high levels of fitness cost toreproduce resorting in a constrained and limited population size. Oh, theysound, really cool. What about their conservation status? Is there any? Are they in any desperateneed for conservation or well? Recently, there's been a growingconcern for the odorous, as there has been recordings of wise but declinedfor out the UK back in two firs o five, there was a national surveillantprogram called make the ad account which aimed to collect an counts ofadders basking just after hibernation...

...by the local public. There were a total oftwo hundred and sixty sites used in this program. The data showed there wasa significant decline in small population sites, while there was avery, very weak increase in larger o population sites, but these large sitescontributed to only ten percent of the whole population Siedet. This reportalso mentioned that, if this trend is to continue, then inthe next fifteen to twenty years deed, these adders will be stricte to onlylarger population groups and therefore also y causing extinction risk to dragto drastically increase right. Okay. So, even though, when theywere classes widely distributed, are they still in harsh decline and if theyare what what was cause this? Yes, so the arson, hard ecrin accordingto a report called Venison, Vanishing Viper, two thousand and nineteen, whichis an organ ized approach to developing...

...and Matin in conservation strategiesfor the adder that the adder was suffering from a serious decline duringthe last fifty years. This was seen e populations from different Englishcounters, such as her forshawe war, says the Shire and go sister Shire Yeah.They have also, unfortunately, been locally extinction of a count is likeWarwickshire, Oxfordshire and Nottingham. Shire right appears thatmajority of these declines are connected to heavy land. You land usechanges like large scale, deforestation, which is reckoning wrecking theirhibernation habitats and leaving them open for severe injury due to the largemachine you being used also due to them. Havin isolated populations mixed withpreviously mentioned fret, causing habit at regimentation. The adderpopulations are forced to inbred with one and over making them geneticallyidentical. This means is something such as a disease emerges. What can becomeLefar to the adders? Your law suffer greatly as there's not much onestidifference between them all yeah,...

...that's really dangerous and yeah. Another threat to these snakes is poormanagement on the species and habitat level. The vanish in Viper to thousandand nine team por also suggested that there seems to be a lack of knowledgeon important features and adds habitat needs like corridor connectivity ofhibernation, some like basking and areas for hunting. Evidence of this isseen when they were just well when they were described to be an abundant in thewiry forest, with a Max of two hundred and sixty seven individuals at sixtyone different locals, even despite with all the charcoal and railwayconstruction going on at the time. However, in two thousand and eighteen,there is now only for thirty nine individuals in eleven different locals,which is drastically increate, decreased yeah. They also vulnerable to change in theirhabitats. For instance, grass lands and Heap lams can be affected by facts ofclimate change, such as a temper to...

...change an increase, precipitation temperature chains can a fet out hislife styles like if the temptare calls they'll slow down and must spend moretime basking in the sun to warm up while, if a temptare rises, it couldcause them to emerge from hibernation to wirly. Put increased precipitationcan also fit their heat from a grass in habitats by potentially causingflooding, which will also force them out of hypenation tion too early. So it sounds like the deal with quitequite a few different threats as well, but if you were trying to convince amember of the general public, why should they care about conserving themlike what? What do they do with that the habitat in the recose? Well, the adder is classed as in theChao species. These are important species to an echo system as theindicate how health the ecosystem is. Their presence in a habitat such as aloaf heathland, for example, shows that that the low cow of the area is inprime condition, keeping everything in...

...balance and a low on sensive speciessuch as the adder to survive and Frie. If an indicated species like the adderwas to disappear from an area, it means some destruction to the habit at ashappened and may possibly lead to environmental degraged. Well, so the presence kind of acts likea reminder to how are ecosystem are becoming more damaged if we lose theadder. That must like most likely means that are ecosystem, not healing iteither exactly a liver reason why we shouldtry and con conserve adders and snake species in general is because they playanother significant role in the ecosystem, as they can provideecological services to us by Penguin Animals, which we can see as a menacelike mis and rass, which often carried diseases, especially in agriculturalareas, but by conserving these animals it can also educate on how important they can be for us, an ecosystem to thegeneral public and in turn, hopefully...

...eliminate in the negative stigma andprosecution snakes have from the general public, because any specioussnakes survival is at risk due to becoming an a common animal for peopleto fear which leads to intentionally killing snakes in some coutes. Also,these species are one of six native reptiles and one of only free pertspecies of snakes we have in the UK. Would the ad have been the onlyvenomous snake so losing it would be like losing a special part of the UKbecause there's no other organism them here, quite like it yeah. It does seem like these snakes selfbrace somewhat with being this highly bon species throughout the UK, but orno have it, but are now having their population and was for and the habitextraction is it? Is there any combleman effortson going for the other? Well Yeah? The adder is recognizedinternationally to be to be important and is listed under appendix free,which is a protected forest species in...

...the the burn convention and on the IU IC when Red List it is listed under the least concerned cargo, even thoughthere's many clear signs that they are dropping in population for the speciesin the UK, they are protected by the UK legislation that is illegal to harm andkill this species, no matter circumstance. You are also not allowedto sell this animal. However, in Scotland they suffer more from thepreviously mentioned negative stigma and due to them being venomous, peopleseek out and kill and kill them out of misunderstood fear despite the samelegislation, protecting them we're about monitoring. Is there any of thatfor odders, because that would help that would definitely help the peopleseeking out to kill them as well? Well, yeah, there's a there is somemonitoring efforts which can be and have been done, such as the classic capture mark andrecapture method. Where once a INDUSIA...

...has been caught, they will make a smallmark or tag them and then release them. However, the use of photographicrecords of pig pans, any natural markets and the formation of theirscales is now rising in popularity, along with the make the ad accountprogram where there was a citizen science projects which volunteers wouldgo to locations where others may be severe the area and record any scienceof that as they could find. I think I heard about the the Maglio. That was areally good campaign, and what about management side, though, forconservation efforts? Is there any of that? One of the best way to manage theconservation for a species I would say is to Conservat, is to haveconservation management for his happy to a study was done on the efforts oflarge gale he fla management and how it also affects the adders. The studysuggests that the removal of vade of invasive floris species, what kind ofhave negative impacts the ADA, such as...

...bracken the study, were also used.Temperature loggers in different areas of heatlant and place mode models offake adders in their habitat. This allowed them to see the open areas ofthe of the HABITER. Do not allow the adder to effectively firm or regulate,as they cannot find anywhere to cool off when needed, and how the fakemodels were trampled by live stock and attacked by dogs when they were beingwalked. So this shows that habitat management strategies need to takethese things into consideration. So when new strategies are being formed,they could use natural borders, such as a hedge to block out areas of FEFA asto play a good area for firmer regulation and their way from and awayfrom public footpaths. Okay, so it seems like there's definitely someconservation efforts and awareness being raised for the other, but what about thefuture? So do you think there will be any challenges that we need to recon interms of the aled? Well, one hug...

...challenge: What needs to be overcome isclimate change. Climate change is a challenge. What has been seen effectsin Al Bymes of the world and the UK? He fans are no exception. Pant change isincreased in temperatures in the heathen habitats, as previouslymentioned rising temperatures and is interrupting adders when they're emerging from hibernationtherefore, is effects in their life cycle and front our balance. Anotherissue is poor management for their habits as the vanishing five viper. TwoThousand and nineteen program stated that not all management of a habitatsare considering the requirements they add of needs, such as corridorconnectivity, bask in spots and access to nearby whirtle habitats for food,improper habitat, Maderaner ment may also affect their prey items as well. Anumber stories showed that one population of adders experienced a fooditems shortage for a year. This led to drastic decrease in body mass and thereproductive female adders had a...

...inclining survivability because of it,as they must spend a high on a fitness level to reproduce, while some of themales were just completely unable to reproduce whatsoever. You mentionedearlier about fear of venomous snakes. Do you think this will be a threat inthe future as well? Most definitely, I believe how the public view the speciesis a huge factory, its survival. If people see the species as a danger anda treat to us, then that negative stigma will not disappear, and if thatdoes not vanish, then people will probably not get involved withconservation efforts for this important key species. People such as farmers orlocals of the area may still continue killing them, even with thelegislations in place, as seen in Scotland making on how we view thespecies crucial for its survival yeah, definitely a it yeah how the publicsees everything is important, especially conservation right, so I think we will end it there. I definitely have a new view on others,I and understand it's important...

...scenario system, and I hope thisepisode is helped. You understand every one at home a little bit more about thevery native reptiles, but that's all for us. For now this was nature upsigning out thanks for watching T.

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