ARG UK Seminar Series: The Vanishing Viper - Meeting the challenges of conserving adders in a 21st Century landscape – lessons from England and France, streamed on 17.09.20. Presented by Nigel Hand (ARG UK Trustee, Central Ecology and HART), we heard presentations from three adder experts: Tom Simpson (Reserve Manager for Natural England, Wyre Forest NNR), Rick Hodges (KRAG), and Gaëtan Rey, (Chargé de missions scientifiques, Conservatoire d'espaces naturels Nord - Pas-de-Calais), who discuss the challenges they face conserving adders in their respective landscapes: The Wyre Forest, Kent and in France. We heard more about the impacts of different factors on adders: changing land uses, public disturbance including dog walking, dog training and hunting, changes to the vegetative structure of landscapes particularly tree cover and the loss of hedgerows - the French 'bocage system', persecution and historic bounty hunting, predators, the effect of local climatic conditions on adder populations at adjacent sites, and the potential catastrophic impact of climate change. The presentations were followed by a panel discussion led by Nigel Hand, where participants in the seminar were able to ask questions or raise other points including concerns about genetic depression, climate change, and the future for our adders (Images copyright Kevin Clarke).
With thanks to our generous sponsors The Garfield Weston Foundation, and all of our speakers.