UK Adders (Vipera berus)

Here I share my favourite photographs taken of Adders (Vipera berus) from my former local population and a few from other parts of northern England. In 2010 I started visiting this one location after the gentleman who previously monitored the adders moved away from the area. During the following seven years I visited this population extensively between February and October each season. Truly a highly fragmented population which had fluctuating numbers of between 12-20 breeding adults. This peaked in 2015 where in one August day I found 15 females, 8 of which were gravid. Then disaster struck in the winter of the same year when widespread flooding either displaced or destroyed half of this population with greatly reduced numbers in 2016. A slight improvement in 2017 has since resulted in a dramatic downturn in this highly endangered population of moorland adders. Since I left the UK that year, my friend has reported that the breeding adult population is down to half a dozen individuals, mostly females. Furthermore several adults have been found killed by people and the encroachment of humans and their dogs at this location has increased significantly with inevitable results. Due to the highly isolated nature of this population, being many miles away from any other adders, these snakes are now on the verge of extinction at this location.

All of these photos were taken ‘in situ’ without disturbing the snakes.

© Matt Wilson

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