Conservation of reptile priority species
Reasons for decline and loss of reptile populations
The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust provides comprehensive information on reptiles: arc-trust.org/
The National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme provides general information as well as surveys: narrs.org.uk
Froglife, a conservation charity including reptiles provide advice and information: froglife.org
Reptiles - Grass Snake, Common Lizard, Slow-worm and Adder - are protected under part of Section 9(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) against intentional killing and injuring.
Reptiles are also protected under Section 9(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) against selling, offering or exposing for sale, or having in possession or transporting for the purpose of sale.
There are also general controls relating to animal welfare. .
As Section 41 species all reptiles including Grass Snake and Common Lizard need to be taken into consideration by any public body in managing their estate.
Good Practice Habitat management for reptiles
Reptiles need adequate areas for foraging with sufficiently large populations of invertebrate prey species, south-facing banks or bare earth or stones where reptiles can bask and warm up in the sun, shelter for resting and protection from predators and suitable hibernation sites.
These features are often reduced through intensive mowing, over-grazing, burning (accidental or deliberate), or intensive recreational use.
Grass Snakes also need water and damp areas (prey includes amphibians). Sites for egg-laying (e.g. compost/dung heaps) are also important.