13 April 2015
Islanders are being asked to look out for grass snakes, which have recently emerged from hibernation.
The grass snake is the focus of a campaign which aims to save it from extinction, and spring is one of the most important times of year for the Island’s rarest reptile.
The ‘Think Grass Snake’ campaign encourages people to keep an eye out for grass snakes and slow-worms, and to report their sightings.
Male grass snakes begin to appear before the females in readiness for mating between March and May. Their re-emergence coincides with an increase in amphibian activity as frogs, toads and newts have spent the last few weeks heading to ponds to breed, providing a welcome meal for the snakes.
Sightings can be reported via the dedicated ‘spotline’ phone number (01534 441628) or through the campaign website, which has a quick online survey for submitting the information. The site also provides facts and resources about amphibians and reptiles.
Think Grass Snake campaign website
University of Kent doctoral student Rob Ward is carrying out research on ways to save Jersey’s only native snake and is leading the campaign. He plans to build a clearer picture of where grass snakes are living and nesting, and how to protect them.