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Adding Adders in County Durham. Talk by Anne Porter

Adder © Dave Jarema

Friday 22 January, 7pm-8pm
Great North Museum: Hancock

The Heart of Durham Adder Project was set up in 2011 in response to alarming reports from the south of the UK of Adders being found with genetic mutations. ‘In breeding depression’ was the explanation put forward by scientists as the cause, which was also leading to declining Adder populations in some places. How were Adders in County Durham faring? Over the last four years Durham Wildlife Trust has been trying to find out. In conjunction with Sunderland University, volunteers have been collecting ‘sloughs’, shed skins which are contributing to a genetic database. In 2016 the project is aiming to map the location of reptile hibernation sites.

Anne is the Project Officer for Durham Wildlife Trust’s Heart of Durham Project. She will give an overview of Adder ecology and the project so far and explain why locating these hibernation sites are crucial, especially on the moorland of County Durham.