As we enter the second month of 2024, the nation’s reptiles and amphibians will likely still be fast asleep, conserving their energy in these cold temperatures. Many will have taken refuge in compost heaps, piles of garden debris, or may have burrowed underground.
A way we support our brumating species here at Froglife is with the creation of hibernacula on our sites. Hibernacula for reptiles and amphibians create areas less susceptible to freezing temperatures, allowing for reptiles and amphibians to sleep in these areas with a lessened risk of death by exposure than if they were to brumate in an open area.
It is easy to create a hibernaculum and is a great way to find a new use for any tree and scrub offcuts that have been cut back through the year. All you need to do is dig a hole (don’t worry it doesn’t have to be too big!), fill the hole with logs, twigs, and maybe even some stones and bricks, ensuring you leave space for reptiles and amphibians to manoeuvre between them. Once the hole is slightly over filled, you should then cover the pile with the dirt which had previously been dug up. If you wish, you can then scatter the area with native wildflower and/or grass seeds to encourage insects to the area.
Hibernacula can be created at any time of year, but will mostly be used by reptiles and amphibians during the colder winter months.
As we head to the end of February and into spring, be sure to keep an eye out for our reptile and amphibian friends awaking from brumation ready to gear up for breeding season and remember to record any you see on our free Dragon Finder app.
Find more ways you can support wildlife at home in our Idea Zone.