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Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Conservation
Forum Name: Habitat Loss
Forum Description: Use this forum to highlight harmful development projects and other issues involving habitat destruction
Printed Date: 24 Jul 2021 at 5:59am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Posted By: AGILIS
Date Posted: 22 Sep 2014 at 7:58am
Would I be right in saying herpos are more enlightened enviroment aware group then most other sections of nature enthusiasts as most of us herpos seem to have a good knowledge of ornithology flora fungi and other creatures that abound our country side,Yet I have met twitchers that have never seen a lizard or snake and have not been unaware of their existance


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 22 Sep 2014 at 9:07am
I think herps are one of the best indicators of good biodiversity, so as a group we tend to find ourselves in places where there is a whole range of fauna and flora and take it all in as part of our interest. The small weather windows for herping is perhaps also a factor when taking in other stuff. For example my interest in dragonflies developed over the years on days when it got too hot at a site to observe herps, so I would start to watch the dragonflies instead. End of season and I'm looking for fungi, though I have almost zero knowledge of the huge variety of species, I still love to see a whole range of fungi in late Autumn.

I do think herpos rapidly get a good 'eye' for habitat and the features and plants that make it so too, so we are forever picking out the wildlife hot spots where it is hard to miss the diversity of species on offer.

One thing with twitchers is on the whole they are looking 'up', whilst we are looking 'down'. I use to have a school friend who was into ornithology, we saw twice as much walking together because we had both the ground view and tree/hedge/sky view covered. Wink

I do know a few sites where twitchers regular trudge their way from car parks to their hides, most will be interested in reptiles if they see them, though I can never get over the sight of massive tripods and telephoto lenses pointing at a single adder trying to warm up in the sun. LOL

Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 22 Sep 2014 at 11:58pm
I'm interested in pretty much most flora and fauna and confess to being on the look out for anything historical or archaeological as well.
I think it's very shortsighted to look at places from the perspective of just one or two species.
I agree with Gemma's comments.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 23 Sep 2014 at 6:36am
interesting point Keith; I was watching adders dancing on a Cornish coast path in my youth when a 'birder' came up to me, stared intently and asked if I was looking at a whinchat's nest... his well-defined search image meant that he couldn't see what was right in front of him! having said that, I was looking down for frogs and lizards at Rainham Marshes last year and completely missed the spectacle of a large number of hobbies catching a swarm of dragonflies directly overhead - if it hadn't been for a friendly ornithologist I would have missed this sight. I guess the moral is that we could all be more observant if we tried

Posted By: Richard2
Date Posted: 23 Sep 2014 at 2:06pm
I remember being startled when Bill Oddie said on TV that he had been going to Studland Heath all his life and had never seen a reptile. I am sure I miss lots of birds that he sees, but still.. never?


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 23 Sep 2014 at 3:56pm
yes, I remember that - and when he did find a common lizard with his binoculars he then ID'd it as a sand lizard - though to be fair he admitted his mistake later.

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