Ecology, spatial and temporal life history of an adder population Vipera berus L in the Spessart mts Hessia, Germany Zue Oekologie und Raum-Zeit-Einbindung einer Kreuzotterpopulation Vipera berus L im hessischen Spessart

Weinmann, K.; Beck, C.; Madl, R.; Penner, J.; Sound, P.; Wollesen, R.; Joger, U.

Mertensiella 1 Dezember; 15: 197-212


Accession: 038173576

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An adder population in the Jossgrund area (Spessart mts.) was intensively observed for five consecutive years. Snakes were individually marked and photographically recorded. In one year, telemetry was used to monitor individual movements and thermoregulation. The sex ratio was more or lei equal during the five project years. Population density was relatively high at 5-8.4 adult individuals per hectare. In females, a biannual. sometimes probably triannual reproductive cycle was detectable. Seasonal activity was comparable to published observations from other regions. In several male adders, significant movements were recorded. The largest distance travelled during a single activity period was 1350 m. Margins of young spruce-forests were always preferred habitats. Despite a currently stable situation, the studied adder population is considered threatened by habitat change, induced by forest succession, leading to shady habitat conditions. Conservation measures should therefore be integrated in a habitat management concept.