Page last updated at 09:04 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 10:04 UK
Study shows Wyre Forest adders travel long distances
Female adder
No one in the UK has died from an adder bite since 1975

A research project that electronically tagged adders in the Wyre Forest, has shown that they travel long distances.

The tags were attached to the flanks of snakes in mid-April, just as they awoke from hibernation.

Results show that adult male adders will travel large distances - up to a kilometre - to find a mate.

Louise Sutherland, from the Forestry Commission said: "It is amazing, considering they are small snakes and they have not eaten since last summer."

Suitable habitats

Wildlife experts involved in the project believe that the findings could help preserve the species, by altering the way land is managed.

Adder facts
The adder is the only venomous snake native to Britain.
Adders will only use their venom as a last means of defence, usually if caught or trodden on.
No one has died from adder bite in Britain since 1975.

Louise Sutherland said: "Adders are in decline nationally for a number of reasons, including habitat change, and they are slow breeders.

"Our results will be used to ensure forest design and felling plans leave corridors for adders to travel through.

Transmitter fitted to a male adder
One of the transmitters fitted to a male adder

"If farmers and landowners work together to provide suitable habitats for them, we can reverse the decline in their numbers, and protect these amazing snakes into the future."

It is believed there are just over 100 adult adders remaining in the Wyre Forest - 11 have been tagged in this experiment, which began in April and has cost around £6,000.

The research was carried out as part of the the Grow With Wyre Landscape Partnership Scheme.

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