Severe adder disturbance in northern counties

After a visit to one of the few adder sites left in my local area on Saturday I made the following post on my Facebook page which I thought I would share here too.

I have since been informed that several of the three to four different photography groups have shared the location of these particular adders on their Facebook pages and websites. This is the single biggest contributor to the huge increase in adder disturbance.


By Matt Wilson

2017 so far…

I saw my first adders (Vipera berus) on the 19th February and then I saw some more today in more typical, warmer weather. Over the weekend I was busy moving common toads (Bufo bufo) at a regular crossing point in my village. If you want to help out with toad migrations, which without human intervention can lead to large percentages of a population being killed by cars, please see the following website:

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By Matt Wilson

2017 update

Things have been quiet on the blog as the British winter confines me to the house most weekends as well as extra responsibilities undertaken in my current job role.

However, you can expect regular updates from my interest in herpetology further into 2017 with some very exciting plans head, one in particular may allow for my blog to be updated with interesting observations and photographs on an almost weekly basis. But more about that at a later date…

For now, I will be heading to Hungary next week for a birding trip with Carl Corbidge as it will be far too cold to see amphibians or reptiles. Perhaps in early summer I will go to my girlfriend’s homeland of Slovakia for a second visit and have some additional time to look for amphibians and reptiles after I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there last year. Click here to read my short trip report from Slovakia last year.

By Matt Wilson

Small Cyclades report!

I’ve put a short report of our trip to the island of Epano Koufonissi last week. Being such a tiny island there are not many species present but we saw some nice things while there on holiday. Click here or the picture below.



By Matt Wilson

Trip reports Morocco!

Gertjan has written a report from our trip in August to Morocco. I am very grateful as I don’t feel like I need to write my own. Carl has also published  a report from the trip, both can be viewed by clicking on their names.


By Matt Wilson

Season’s end and new name

Although I have had some great trips abroad this year, herping closer to home has been very disappointing with over half of my local adders vanishing probably due to them drowning during hibernation from severe floods. So I was very pleased to find this newborn baby adder whilst out last weekend as it was trying to cross a small country road. Despite the weather being suitable I couldn’t see any adults around apart from a female which had sadly been hit by a car. This will probably be my final adder observation of the year as I don’t get out as much in the autumn due to a busy work load.

I also decided that the webpage needed a new name to reflect the evolution of my interests in Herpetology as my future plans do not solely involve visiting European destinations. Therefore, Amphibian and Reptile Travels now seems more appropriate than The European Amphibian and Reptile Blog. The content of the site does remain very much the same for now.




By Matt Wilson

Southern Morocco

Myself, Carl and Gertjan just returned from a fantastic trip to southern Morocco. We had a number of highlights, including Puff adder (Bitis arietans), White-bellied carpet viper (Echis leucogaster) and Desert monitor (Varanus griseus). Click here or on the sidebar to be directed to the photo gallery.

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By Matt Wilson

Symi photo gallery

I’ve just returned from a visit to the Dodecanese island of Symi, one I have visited many times before. This was not a herping trip as at this time of year the island is one of the hottest places in Greece with temperatures close to 40 degrees. Instead I spent time with friends and spent most of the days at my favourite beach. I did do a couple of searches and found some interesting species, above all the hardest species to find on the island: the Levant Skink (Trachylepis auratus). Please click this link  to visit the gallery.

Next week off to Morocco with Carl and Gertjan and then back to idealic Epano Koufonissi in the Cyclades in October for a secluded retreat.

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By Matt Wilson

Early summer adder count

This time last year I saw a personal best of 14 female adders (Vipera berus) during one visit at my local site. However, in ideal conditions today I only saw two. Why? Well, turns out the severe floods on Boxing day completely inundated the site. Having spoken with some residents in the areas I can estimate that well over half of the adder site was several feet under water during the floods. This was already evident in early spring when several regular males were nowhere to be seen. In the end a grand total of 3 males have been observed at the site this year. My monitoring of females usually starts around June and although they have always outnumbered the males at this particular site the results today were very worrying. Here’s hoping some where merely washed away to other areas and that they didn’t all drown. Furthermore, I have found two killed females already this year at the site, one likely by cattle and the other which was hard to tell.

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By Matt Wilson

Slovakia trip report now online.

A short trip report from beautiful Slovakia is now online. Click here or on the image below to read it and see the photos.

In terms of other trips myself, Carl Corbidge and Gertjan Verspui will visit Morocco in August (think being in a frying pan!) and then I will likely return to the Dodecanese islands in late July to see friends and do some herping.

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By Matt Wilson