Reptile Surveys: Presence / Absence Surveys

What is a Reptile Presence/Absence Survey?

Reptile presence/absence surveys are a method for establishing whether there is a population of reptiles on site and, if so, which species. We can sometimes gain a population estimate from the results of these surveys.

The survey technique makes use of the basking behaviour of reptiles to attract and count them. Square sheets of roofing felt are laid out in strategic positions across the site - targeting areas where conditions are suitable for basking such as ecotones between grassland and scrub; close to existing wood and stone piles; and on south facing banks. During a 'bedding in' period, any reptiles on the site will find these squares and use them either for sheltering beneath, or basking above as their black surface means they warm quickly in the sun. Our surveyors then go out to count reptiles on these tiles over a course of seven survey visits.

 

How can LSC help?

Our ecologists have experience in undertaking presence/absence surveys for all common reptile species including grass snake, adder, common lizard and slow worm. We can draw upon this experience to provide the most effective and efficient survey design for your site to provide the information you need to support Planning. Our team can assist with advice on avoidance or compensation/mitigation habitat, as well as habitat design and translocation of any reptile populations we identify.

Our surveys are completed to the Best Practice Guidelines outlined by the JNCC, and our reports comprehensively provide the information required by our clients to secure Planning Permission.

 An adult grass snake found beneath a refugia during on of LSC's reptile surveys in the West Midlands.

An adult grass snake found beneath a refugia during on of LSC's reptile surveys in the West Midlands.


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