Posted by: Dan | October 25, 2010

Cyprus Grass Snake

Credit: Phillip Phillipou, TheTwinBros Photography

Reported by early taxonomists to be common in Cyprus, the endemic subspecies Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) was thought to have been driven extinct by 1960. Only in 1992 were a small number rediscovered, localized to a small number of streams and dams where its main food source – frogs – are also found. As I understand it, they’ve been under threat from collectors in the past, but worse is the competition from the non-native trout that have been introduced in certain reservoirs for fishing.

Now the Cyprus Reptile Society is desperately trying to find support from the government for a captive breeding program.

It’s not clear what the snake breeding program will do to rescue the Cyprus Grass Snake – that is if it will be successful – because there have been a variety of fish species introduced illegally by fishermen. There aren’t many year-round lakes, reservoirs and streams in Cyprus anymore to begin with, and now those that exist are dominated by non-native species that are disrupting the local ecosystems.

For more: Cyprus Reptile Society

Photo credit: The Twin Bros Photography


Responses

  1. […] Reported by early taxonomists to be common in Cyprus, the endemic subspecies Cyprus Grass Snake (Natrix natrix cypriaca) was thought to have been driven extinct by 1960. Only in 1992 were a small number rediscovered, localized to a small number of streams and dams where its main food source – frogs – are also found.  The threat comes from collectors, but worse is the competition from the non-native trout that have been introduced in certain reservoirs for fishing. Read more Migrations […]


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