As we now enter in to spring, the harmless grass snake along with Jersey's other reptiles have begun to emerge from hibernation. They are making the most of the warmer temperatures and the increase in other species for food. This is one of the most important times of the year for grass snakes, with males emerging before females in preparation for mating which can occur from March through to May. Their emergence also coincides with an increase in amphibian activity as frogs, toads and newts have spent the last few weeks heading to ponds to breed, providing a welcome meal for the snakes. In the coming weeks as tadpoles begin to hatch these too will provide an excellent food source for the island's dwindling snake population. This highlights the importance of efforts made to conserve all of Jersey's biodiversity and not just select species due to the way they all interact, such as that being made for the agile frog.
Any sightings of grass snakes and slow-worms making their spring appearances should be reported to us here on the website. Any data received is being put to good use to help stop the decline of our native reptiles. Your records are extremely valuable and make a real contribution to the protection of Jersey's grass snakes.
If you would like to learn more about the grass snake research that is being carried out, our researcher Rob will be doing a talk for Action for Wildlife on Sunday 22nd March, 2:30pm at St. Andrews Church Hall, First Tower, Jersey. All are welcome to attend.