Action: Remove or control viperine snakes
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- One before-and-after study in Mallorca found that numbers of Mallorcan midwife toad larvae increased after intensive, but not less intensive, removal of viperine snakes.
Introduced species can have significant effects on native species, particularly on oceanic islands. For example, the viperine snake Natrix maura is an invasive species on Mallorca and as one of the main predators of the threatened midwife toad Alytes muletensis, contributed towards its decline (Guicking et al. 2006).
Guicking D., Griffiths R.A., Moore R.D., Joger U. & Wink M. (2006) Introduced alien or persecuted native? Resolving the origin of the viperine snake (Natrix maura) on Mallorca. Biodiversity and Conservation, 15, 3045–3054.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A before-and-after study in 1991–2002 of Mallorcan midwife toads Alytes muletensis in Mallorca (Román 2003) found that abundance increased at one of two sites after removal of viperine snakes Natrix maura. At the site with intensive control over three years, no snakes were seen from 1997 and larval toad counts increased from 1,300 in 1991 to 2,200 in 1999. Control was not considered successful by the authors at the second site due to the large snake population and more open habitat. Viperine snakes were controlled by capturing intensive one site in 1991–1993 and by capturing less intensively at the second site in 2002.