Reptiles and amphibians at Alners Gorse

Brown lizard on some old wood
Common Lizard. Photo: Pete Gillat

Could you help us collect records of reptiles and amphibians at Alners Gorse?

BC Dorset has teamed up with the Dorset Amphibian and Reptile Network) to improve our records of snakes, lizards and amphibians on this very well-visited and species-rich reserve. DARN is a volunteer group that is affiliated to ARG UK – the national Amphibian and Reptile Group. DARN offers conservation opportunities for everyone. It aims to set up reptile transects all over Dorset to find out where the reptiles are so that they can be protected. Ponds are also surveyed.

Curled snake with head raised

Adder. Photo: Pete Gillatt

For these surveys, between 5 and 10 corrugated roofing tiles are laid out in tall vegetation or near a hedge, tree or shrub and this route or transect is walked once a month to check if there are any reptiles underneath the tiles and whether any other reptiles are seen out foraging or basking in the sun.

The tiles provide protection from predators and a place for the reptiles to warm up either under the tiles or on top. Reptiles are cold-blooded and they need warmth to become active.

See this map of Alners Gorse showing where the 10 tiles have been placed. It is important not to disturb the tiles otherwise the reptiles may not use them again.

Further information about amphibians and reptiles can be found on the DARN website: – where you can also find information about DARN’s Churchyard Project.

If you see a reptile or amphibian at Alners Gorse or anywhere else in Dorset, please send in the record via the form on the DARN website. Butterfly records should be sent to the BC Dorset branch sightings page and other records sent to [email protected] or to Living Record .

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