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Macrovipera schweizeri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Macrovipera schweizeri
Species Authority: (Werner, 1935)
Common Name(s):
English Cyclades Blunt-nosed Viper, Milos Viper

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Wolfgang Böhme, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is not much greater than 100km2, it is known from only four small islands, there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. The population trend may now have more or less stabilized, but this is a recent change and could easily be reversed.
History:
2006 Endangered (IUCN 2006)
2006 Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the western Cyclade Islands (Milos, Syphnos, Kimolos and Polyaigos) of Greece. It is found from sea level up to 400m asl (the highest point on the islands).
Countries:
Native:
Greece
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population probably totals around 3,000 individuals, with about 2,500 of these on western Milos. Subspecies syphnoensis (from island of Syphnos) is very rare, with only occasional specimens recorded. The population is now more or less stable, but over the last 30-40 years there have been significant declines as a result of collecting and road kills.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It can be found throughout the islands on dry, sunny hillsides and in traditionally cultivated land, in densely vegetated areas close to water with rocky outcrops, and also in pools of water. Its most important habitat is small creeks. The female lays a clutch of between four and 11 eggs.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened by illegal collection of animals, direct persecution when encountered, accidental mortality on roads and ongoing habitat loss through mining and quarrying concessions. Illegal collection, mortality and mining are still ongoing, but at a lower level than before as a result of regulation and conservation measures. Fires (caused by humans) and tourist development are also important threats. In the species' stronghold in western Milos there are tourist developments causing habitat loss and increased shortage of water.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and is protected by national legislation. The entire island of Polyaigos is protected and southern Milos is also protected by the European network of protected areas. The species has been monitored for many years. Snake tunnels have been constructed at four sites, and more are planned; studies have showed that these are an effective method to reduce road kills in this species. Agreements have been reached with the mining company to reduce road traffic, especially at night.

Citation: Wolfgang Böhme, Petros Lymberakis, Claes Andrén 2009. Macrovipera schweizeri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 August 2014.
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