The adder is in danger of vanishing from the UK countryside within two decades, according to research by the University of Reading.
The findings, published in The Herpetological Journal, are the culmination of 11 years of the venomous snake’s habitat being monitored across the UK by so-called ‘citizen scientists’.
The data shows that 90 per cent of the adder population surveyed was in decline. Experts warn that if that trend continues adders could be restricted to just a handful of sites within just 10 to 20 years.
Although concern has been growing among reptile experts for decades that the numbers of adders was is in decline, this latest study suggests the creatures are in “serious trouble”.
The data was collected by Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the UK (ARG UK) through the ‘Make the Adder Count’ project, a citizen science survey set up in 2005.