The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 09. The Distribution in England of the Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca Laurenti)

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Open Access

pp.370-376

Authors: A. C. Braithwaite, J. Buck Ley, K. F. Corbett, P. W. Edgar, E. S. H Aslewood, G. A. O. Haslewood,
t. E. S. Langton, W. J. Whitaker

Abstract: The British Herpetological Society (BHS) contracted with the Nature Conservancy Council during the years 1984-7 inclusive to determine the distribution and population characteristics of the smooth snake Coronella austriaca Laurenti in England. 14-19 BHS members, assisted by other persons,  surveyed likely areas by direct observation and by searching under metal sheets (tins) and debris. Snakes were identified by descriptions, measurements, drawings or photographs and their occurrence marked on maps; they were usually sexed by relative tail length. Weather conditions at the time of sighting were recorded. BHS members surveyed altogether 1 96 sites and found not less than 26 1 snakes on 86 sites. The survey measured 118 males, 64 females and 58 immature (less than 42cm total length) snakes: the remaining 21 were not measured. Evidence of breeding (gravid and/or immature snakes) was found on 40 sites. Implications for conservation are considered. A map shows the approximate limits of Coronel/a occurrence and I Okm squares in which snakes were found. The text includes observations on mating, times of birth, length of snakes and persistence in small areas.

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