If the Preliminary Ecological Appraisal identifies habitats that are suitable for supporting common and widespread reptile species, then presence or absence must be established prior to works which could harm animals or destroy valuable habitat.
Reptile surveys include placing artificial refuges within suitable habitat, which reptiles would use to shelter beneath or bask on top of. The refuges are checked seven times to establish presence or likely absence of reptiles and to provide a population estimate.
Should the site support reptiles, these may need to be moved (translocated) to a safe habitat so that they are not harmed by the development. In most cases, we aim to retain the animals within the site boundary, to reduce the impact to the local population.