Showing posts with label slowworm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label slowworm. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Large Scale Squamata Relocation Project

The SwintonAdvertiser is carrying the following story. Follow the link and read the comments they are quite comical!

24,000 snakes, lizards and slow worms move in
HOUSANDS of adders, snakes and lizards have been released in a former Wiltshire military base.

More than 24,000 reptiles have been moved from a site in Essex, where a container ship terminal is to be built, to two sites managed by the Wilshire Wildlife Trust at Sandpool Farm and the former military base of Blakehill Farm near Cricklade.

The large-scale move has been organised by Environment Bank Limited, in Stratton Park House, Wanborough Road, and has taken place on a combined area of 264 hectares.

The company’s managing director, Robert Gillespie, said: “We would have preferred to have found a more local home for the reptiles.

“But in this instance these sites in Wiltshire were the only ones we could identify with an environment that is almost perfect from day one.”

To cope with the number of reptiles, the developers of the £1.5bn London Gateway port bought extra land for the trust.

Magz Knight, from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, said: “The area of land links up four of our neighbouring reserves, including Clattinger Farm, Oaksey Moor Farm Meadow, Swillbrook Lakes and Sandpool Farm.

“Before any translocation is done the receptor sites are checked because obviously you don’t want to bring a load of new reptiles in if there’s already a population there that is the maximum amount you should have for that kind of habitat."”

With both sites found to be suitable, more than 290 adders, 400 grass snakes, 17,000 common lizards and 6,000 slow worms have been captured by hand and transported in grass-lined boxes.

Mr Gillespie said said: “This is an ongoing process.

“We’ve got another three years of monitoring the reptiles in Wiltshire to go.

“But it’s been a great success – they all seem to have settled in very well and are breeding.”