Reptile Translocation

All common species of reptile in the UK are afforded legal protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Species commonly associated with development sites include Barred Grass Snake, Common Lizard, Slow-worm and Adder. It is an offence to cause the intentional killing and injury of these species, and therefore moving these species from a proposed development site is a common occurrence in ecological mitigation strategies.

Barred Grass Snake, Common Lizard and Slow-worm can be found in both greenfield and brownfield sites, being relatively widespread throughout the South-West. Habitats often associated with these species include rough grassland, former or overgrown residential gardens, scrubland, and brownfield sites.

Tor Ecology are able to provide a comprehensive service with regards to formulating mitigation strategies relating to the presence of reptiles on proposed development sites, including the following aspects:

  • Supply of all required equipment and provision of highly experienced staff;
  • Undertaking the initial presence / absence surveys to establish the need to mitigate;
  • Advice and input on your programme of works and the implications of any proposed mitigation;
  • Identifying potential receptor sites for translocations where required and agreeing these with the local authority on your behalf;
  • Undertaking and coordinating any required enhancements to receptor sites prior to translocation, including liaison with stakeholders and relevant local groups;
  • Sourcing and supervising the installation of reptile exclusion fencing where required, and project managing this on your behalf;
  • Undertaking of daily reptile translocation survey visits to clear the site of reptiles and move them to the agreed receptor site, along with regular written updates on progress and likely timescales;
  • Supervision during precautionary or controlled destructive searches during site clearance.

Reptile surveys and translocations are seasonally constrained due to the inactivity of reptiles during winter months. Therefore this work would normally take place in periods of suitable weather conditions (temperatures stable between 9 and 18 degrees Celsius, low winds and no rain) between the months of March and September. Presence / absence surveys for reptiles are best undertaken in the months of April / May or September when conditions are cool enough to encourage basking.

Dependent on the size of the reptile population being captured, translocations may take up to several months to complete, although the majority are completed in advance of this.

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