|Adders in Decline Project|
KRAG believes that although the adder is under-recorded, population declines are real. In order to address these concerns, KRAG launched the 'Adders in Decline' initiative in 2004.
In recent years, concern has been expressed that the Adder (Vipera berus) may have experienced serious decline in Kent. Several factors are believed to be responsible for apparent declines in this species.These include: habitat loss, fragmentation of remaining populations, unsympathetic management, direct persecution and public pressure.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), gives Adders protection against deliberate killing and injury. Unfortunately, their habitat is not protected and it is perfectly legal to destroyhibernacula and foraging areas, providing that individual animals are not killed in the process. This results in often poorly conceived attempts to translocate whole Adder populations from proposed development sites.
Although only briefly mentioned in Kent’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) 1998, concerns over the Adder’s status have convinced the KentReptile and Amphibian Group, that the snake should be highlighted inKent’s Red Data Book. The Adder is referenced in the Kent BAP as a‘Standard Bearer/Quality Indicator Species’ for heathland & mire and lowland acid grassland. Adder however are not mentioned in BAP habitats from which the animal is most commonly recorded in Kent.
KRAG believes that although the animal is under-recorded, population declines are real. In order to address these concerns, KRAG launched the 'Adders in Decline' initiative in 2004. Now in its second year the project aims to promote pro-active conservation of Adder by: