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Adder Reintroductions?

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 2:27pm
Though I would welcome full protection i.e. habitat protection for adder, I don't think it would make any difference.

Adder already have protection against unlawful killing. This is ignored.

The organisations I have mentioned also ride roughshod over GCN terrestrial habitat which is already protected, as well as ignoring advice (pleas) regarding adder.

The attitude is always one of 'we wont' change the plan just to suit one species' if they understood the range of species on their sites in the first place I rather think they could come up with better management schemes and we wouldn't have to champion a particular species, often out of shear desperation. Which is why it comes back for me to a prosecution. It's not that this is an isolated case, most of us have these stories to tell and until someone gets a big fine or imprisonment, they will just carry on business as usual.

We need to literally force a situation where these people carryout pre-works surveys and are made accountable. As is, far too often it a case of picking up the pieces when the damage is already done.


Edited by GemmaJF - 28 Jan 2012 at 2:30pm
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sussexecology View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 5:57pm
Originally posted by Paul Hudson Paul Hudson wrote:

I would also agree that adders should be given full protection is there any way we could push this forward ??Gemma I too have spoken with a N.E staff member who had designed an HLS plan that was having a detrimental effect on adders,(through grazing cattle) and one of her comments was she wasn't going to alter the plan to suit a few little snakes , left me rarther gob smacked !
 
Paul and Gemma, I would agee with you totally on full protection for adders. I'd like to see full protection for all of the widespread reptiles species too. Especially making their habitat protected too, not just the animals. This is because i totally agree with Gemma on the habitats that are destroyed by clearance work without a proper survey or mitigation carried out beforehand. Not to mention the loss of hibernation sites or egg laying sites. The loss of these areas would seriously affect the reptile populations.
 
Maybe the protection of known hibernation sites or grass snake egg laying sites would be the solution to this problem. Would be worth looking into at least.
 
Wish there was more we could do for getting this full protection, but out of our hands. At least if NE could look at protecting reptile habitats, that would be a good starting point me thinks. 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by sussexecology - 28 Jan 2012 at 5:59pm
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Richard2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 6:24pm

I entirely believe what Gemma, Sussexecology, Paul and others are saying, but I still don't understand how the attitude they describe arises. Why do the managers of conservation agencies think like this? They are supposed to be devoted to wildlife conservation; that's their mission, and presumably they went into that kind of work out of strong personal motivation; most of them, anyway. So what has gone wrong? Is it specifically reptiles and amphibians they don't care about, as compared to birds and mammals or a certain landscape-aesthetic? Have they no basic training in ecology? Are they responding to a range of assertive client-groups - bird-watchers, tourists, ramblers, government bodies - whose opinions they fear much more than those of the few people interested in reptiles?

If we are to have any chance of pushing for change, I think we need to understand a bit more about why they think as they do.
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sussexecology View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 6:27pm
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

Though I would welcome full protection i.e. habitat protection for adder, I don't think it would make any difference.

Adder already have protection against unlawful killing. This is ignored.

The organisations I have mentioned also ride roughshod over GCN terrestrial habitat which is already protected, as well as ignoring advice (pleas) regarding adder.

The attitude is always one of 'we wont' change the plan just to suit one species' if they understood the range of species on their sites in the first place I rather think they could come up with better management schemes and we wouldn't have to champion a particular species, often out of shear desperation. Which is why it comes back for me to a prosecution. It's not that this is an isolated case, most of us have these stories to tell and until someone gets a big fine or imprisonment, they will just carry on business as usual.

We need to literally force a situation where these people carryout pre-works surveys and are made accountable. As is, far too often it a case of picking up the pieces when the damage is already done.
 
So so true Gemma
 
If clients ignore our advice, then they leave themselves open to prosecution. We can only give them the advice, but if they decide to ignore that advice - then there is nothing that we can do. I mean we can't stand guard at the site to make sure that they don't clear the site as we simply don't have the time for this. That's why we always put our advice in writing, as well as verbal over the phone.
 
But agree with what you say regarding picking up a case when the damage has been done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 6:31pm
Well, just picking up this idea - what if a group of adder-lovers actually did turn up and hold a demonstration, obstructing the path of the bulldozers, as it were? I bet the local newspapers would be interested; perhaps even national news. Could we organise this?
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 7:09pm
I would be there Richard.

I hate to sound so cynical (OK I don't anymore I was made cynical over time) but the reason for it is simply, money.

These organisations rely on funding schemes. A particularly lucrative funding stream is available for 'heathland restoration'. The cheapest and easiest way to then carryout the works is to bring in heavy plant machinery. Job done in a day, most of the funding goes to 'other projects'. 

Too many of the people involved I'm afraid to say are only doing it because it is a 'job'. They 'know enough to get by' and that is about where it ends. Often they do not stay in the job for more than a year or so before moving on. Those that have been around for a long time seem to be almost exclusively botanists who are quite happy to 'garden' what is left of our heathlands for one or two plant species whilst completely ignoring the needs of existing wildlife.

Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that is what I have seen time and again. When someone comes along and says, 'can you rethink your management scheme' the ranks close to protect the funding stream. The person attempting to advise is bad mouthed, undermined and generally disregarded as a 'trouble maker'.

Do you know for example that I'm effectively 'banned' from surveying EWT sites just for sending them a single report which advised against future soil scraping at an already compromised site? If it wasn't so sad it would be hilarious...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 8:48pm
Originally posted by Richard2 Richard2 wrote:

I entirely believe what Gemma, Sussexecology, Paul and others are saying, but I still don't understand how the attitude they describe arises. Why do the managers of conservation agencies think like this? They are supposed to be devoted to wildlife conservation; that's their mission, and presumably they went into that kind of work out of strong personal motivation; most of them, anyway. So what has gone wrong? Is it specifically reptiles and amphibians they don't care about, as compared to birds and mammals or a certain landscape-aesthetic? Have they no basic training in ecology? Are they responding to a range of assertive client-groups - bird-watchers, tourists, ramblers, government bodies - whose opinions they fear much more than those of the few people interested in reptiles?

If we are to have any chance of pushing for change, I think we need to understand a bit more about why they think as they do.
 
Thanks for your comments Richard.
 
I will try and answer as best I can, but Gemma has pretty much covered everything.
 
Conservation groups manage their land on a large scale. I for one used to work on nature reserves so i have this seen this for myself. For example, the site manager instructed us to clear an area of really good habitat for reptiles at the wrong time of year (ie work undertaken in the summer months). It wasn't just a little patch of vegetation in a field, but a mass extensive amount of vegetation. No thought was given to the impacts it would have on the reptiles.
 
Ecological consultants on the other hand undertake habitat management work in a completely different manner. For example, we may clear vegetation to increase the capture rate of reptiles when on a mitigation project. This is undertaken gradually where the height of the vegetation is gradually reduced and to a max height og 15 cm (if there are GCN present). The whole process can take 2 - 3 days depending on the area that is being cleared.
 
For Reptile Receptor sites, ecological consultants carry out habitat management work to enhance habitats at the right time of year and on a rotation. For example, cutting vegetation is carried out between November - February (with care taken at the latter end if the weather is mild).
 
Hope that answers your question. I have been on both sides and i entered into ecology because there was an opportunity at the time. If things had worked out differently, I would probably still be working in conservation. It's only until you work in ecology that you see the differences.
 
I'll answer your earlier question when I have a moment. Bye for now.
 
 
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sussexecology View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sussexecology Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2012 at 8:55pm
Originally posted by GemmaJF GemmaJF wrote:

I would be there Richard.

I hate to sound so cynical (OK I don't anymore I was made cynical over time) but the reason for it is simply, money.

These organisations rely on funding schemes. A particularly lucrative funding stream is available for 'heathland restoration'. The cheapest and easiest way to then carryout the works is to bring in heavy plant machinery. Job done in a day, most of the funding goes to 'other projects'. 

Too many of the people involved I'm afraid to say are only doing it because it is a 'job'. They 'know enough to get by' and that is about where it ends. Often they do not stay in the job for more than a year or so before moving on. Those that have been around for a long time seem to be almost exclusively botanists who are quite happy to 'garden' what is left of our heathlands for one or two plant species whilst completely ignoring the needs of existing wildlife.

Sorry to put it so bluntly, but that is what I have seen time and again. When someone comes along and says, 'can you rethink your management scheme' the ranks close to protect the funding stream. The person attempting to advise is bad mouthed, undermined and generally disregarded as a 'trouble maker'.

Do you know for example that I'm effectively 'banned' from surveying EWT sites just for sending them a single report which advised against future soil scraping at an already compromised site? If it wasn't so sad it would be hilarious...
 
Agreed.
 
Funny really because the conservation group that I was referring to earlier was indeed a wildlife trust.
 
Can't believe that EWT would behave like that. I mean you did them a favour by sending in the report with your recommendations. i got to agree with you though that it is very sad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jan 2012 at 12:37pm
The two most important items in Gemma's statements are:-
 
1) Cost - everything nowadays is subject to economies - if a trust can "manage" their land by machine rather than by manual labour ( with the shortgae of volunteers) then that's what will happen. Prioritising they call it, and, and until someone is prosecuted, habitat protection of reptiles will come way down the list.
 
2) Staff moving on - we all know (don't we?) that the quickest way to progress to senior positions is by regularly changing employers. Unfortunately, personal ambition overides good intentions. Staff turn over means local knowledge is often forgotten. Site staff then become disiilusioned and apathetic when they report mismanagement to senior staff only for it to be ignored once a new senior comes in.
 
But i agree with the protest thing and would gladly lend my presence and placard. a ball-rolling exercise to give the NE the kick up the pants it derserves.
 
R
 
 
RobV
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jan 2012 at 11:30am
I see. Well, it rings true; it's consistent with the way a lot of other things are done.
 
If anyone is in a position to know when one of these harmful actions is going to take place, please post the details in this forum. We could try to organise some sort of demo - it would need at least twenty to be effective, I imagine, and normal channels of complaint would have to be tried first.
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