Sunday, 17 July 2016

Cyril.a newborn smooth snake a devon first.

Cyril is officially Devon's first newborn Smooth Snake after a successful reintroduction programme Rare snakes that 'disappeared' for seven years have returned with a baby in tow. Conservation volunteers have been searching for signs of the smooth snakes - the UK's rarest reptiles - since ten were released in 2009 and a further seven in 2010 at a secret location on a Devon RSPBnature reserve.They have recorded some sightings but none that proved that the snakes were breeding - until now.
Delighted volunteers have found, recorded and photographed a newborn smooth snake and named him Cyril. He was spotted with two adult snakes and is officially the first smooth snake to be born at the re-introduction site in Devon.
Nick Moulton, of the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, one of the partners in the re-introduction project, said: "It really is a difficult species to work with so for the volunteers to stick with it and find that proof of breeding is brilliant. It is now re-established in Devon, this really is a big find."

The re-introduction was a partnership between the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, Clinton Devon Estates, and the RSPB, supported by English Nature.Populations of the re-introduced snakes are largely restricted to a few heaths in Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey.Smooth snakes are extraordinarily difficult to find – it can take ten years of work simply to prove the species is present or absent from a particular place.
They are non-venomous and can grow to around 50-60cm in length and 90-150g in weigh with an average lifespan of up to 30 years
Snakes recorded at the re-introduction site have been given names beginning with C: Cedric was recorded in 2010 and 2011, Celia in 2011.But volunteers could not be sure that the pair were born in Devon as some of the re-introduced females may have been pregnant at the time of re-introduction.
They have been watching for the snakes since the first were re-introduced, visiting the site at least once a fortnight, from March to October.
An RSPB spokesman said "Now we have got evidence proving breeding and there is a chance there may be others, so we are over the moon.

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end of an era

Today I have had to stop doing the various blogs i have done due to a site i have used for years suddenly changed how to access information....