What are our animals up to in January?
It is a pretty quiet month for our reptiles and amphibians with the odd frisky frog exception that may start spawning early. That said, the ever-increasingly erratic temperatures that come with climate change may influence how active they are as they do not hibernate as such, but ‘brumate’. Brumation is a period of dormancy like hibernation, but our wonderful species will take trips out of their hideaways to bask in the sun or have a quick snack in warmer weather.
This is an ideal time to think about how you can help these charismatic animals in the coming months and plan some habitat features in your garden. That area at the back of your garden with the extra garden waste you couldn’t fit in your compost heap could be added to or transformed into a log pile or Hibernaculum. That area you think that looks a mess with the long grass could be a winter home for some critters that need to be left alone for a little longer. Doing things like this saves you gardening in the cold, and you can always say it was an intentional creation of habitat for our deserving amphibians and reptiles.
So, on a warm day you may have a rare wintery glimpse of a common lizard basking or common frog topping up on their energy reserves. Happy spotting!