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Population crash ??

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Grass Snake
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Natrix natrix
Printed Date: 27 Feb 2024 at 6:31am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 -

Topic: Population crash ??
Posted By: Rupe
Subject: Population crash ??
Date Posted: 15 May 2021 at 8:19pm
Here in essex i have been visiting two sites that have had an abundant number of grass snakes. Snakes could be seen at all the small ponds either hunting for newts or basking at the edge. A survey was done about five years ago (results unknown) and at that time every tin had at least one or more snakes beneath. Six was the most i saw under a single sheet.All sheets then removed. Since that period numbers have fallen. 2020 only one sighting and this year no sightings so far.It's a bit of a mystery.

Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 16 May 2021 at 12:42pm
Interesting - until this year I would regularly see up to 5 or 6 hedgehogs in my garden each night, the corrugated sheets I have in the garden would have a number of slowworms under them every time I looked, and I would regularly see adders along the nearby cliffs, and grass snakes along the canal, yet so far this year I have seen the same slowworm twice, no snakes at all, and have only had a single individual hedgehog visiting sporadically, it is like all of the wildlife in the area has suddenly disappeared.

Not sure if this is part of some natural cycle, or whether there are other reasons which I am unaware of but it is pretty heartbreaking to see...

Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 23 May 2021 at 8:38pm
I find grass snakes very flighty in the open. Under covers is more my guaranteed method of seeing them. However you did see them in the open and now you don't so bit of a mystery. The other thing is grass snakes seem to warm up and move off fairly quickly - adders more heat tolerant? Do tins etc. attract snakes to a place?
I have lots of slow worms under covers in my garden, but seldom see them in the open. 
I had several hedgehogs in my garden for about a month this spring but they've gone now. 
We have had a very cold and dry April and now a monsoon May. I guess wildlife copes with all this.


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