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Natrix tessellata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA NATRICIDAE

Scientific Name: Natrix tessellata
Species Authority: (Laurenti, 1768)
Common Name(s):
English Dice Snake, Tessellated Water Snake
Synonym(s):
Coluber gabinus Metaxa, 1823
Coluber hydrus Pallas, 1771
Coluber penttatus Menetries, 1832
Coluber ponticus Guldenstadt, 1811
Coronella tessellata Laurenti, 1768
Tropidonotus elaphoides Brandt, 1838
Tropidonotus tessellatus (Laurenti, 1768)
Taxonomic Notes: There may be some genetically distinct populations that may prove to be separate species in the future (Guiking et al. 2004). Taxonomic rearrangements are expected in due course.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Agasyan, A., Avci, A., Tuniyev, B., Isailovic, J.C., Lymberakis, P., Andrén, C., Cogalniceanu, D., Wilkinson, J., Ananjeva, N., Üzüm, N., Orlov, N., Podloucky, R., Tuniyev, S., Kaya, U., Ajtic, R., Vogrin M., Corti, C., Mellado, V.P., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Baha El Din, S.M., Nettmann, H.K., De Haan, C.C., Sterijovski, B., Schmidt, B. & Meyer, A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team) & Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Milligan, H.T., Powney, G., Sears, J., Wearn, O.R., Wilson, P., Wren, S. & Zamin, T.
Justification:
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Conservation measures should still, however, be undertaken for this species.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: In Europe this species ranges from southern Switzerland (and possibly adjacent France), and Germany (where there are isolated populations in the west), eastwards into eastern Austria, Italy (islands excluded), Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and southern Russia, southwards into Croatia (including some Adriatic islands), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania and Greece (including the islands of Lesbos, Crete, Rhodes and Samos). In Asia the species ranges from Turkey into Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and northern Egypt (Nile Delta and lower Nile Valley). It also ranges from the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan eastwards into Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and northwest China. It might be present on Cyprus, although this requires confirmation. It occurs from sea level up to 2,800 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Afghanistan; Albania; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Egypt; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Moldova; Montenegro; Pakistan; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Yemen
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in much of its range. If it occurs on Cyprus, it is extremely rare there. In Egypt the potential range has increased since the construction of the Aswan High Dam, although the species is considered to be declining. It has also declined in Israel.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a largely aquatic species associated with rivers, coasts, streams, lakes, ponds and the surrounding terrestrial habitat. It occurs in coastal areas. It appears after hibernation in the middle of March - beginning of April (for Azerbaijan). The species lays a clutch of between five and 37 eggs.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is some collection of this species for the international pet trade, especially in Egypt (Sherif Baha El Din pers. comm.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species appears not to be globally threatened. It is threatened by loss or modification of wetland habitats in parts of its range, for example through river channelization and lake-shore development. This species is considered to be threatened in a number of western and central European range states. It is often killed by road traffic, particularly in the mating season. In Egypt large numbers of this species are collected for the international pet trade (Sherif Baha El Din pers. comm.), but this is not considered a major threat. As with many snakes this species is generally persecuted by people. Habitat destruction by invasive plant species is a threat in parts of its range, as is pollution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and it is protected by national legislation in a number of countries. It also appears on Annex IV of the Habitats Directive. It is presumed to occur in many protected areas throughout its range. Habitat restoration work is taking place in parts of Austria (CoE, 2003). Conservation projects for this species are in place in Germany (B. Schmidt pers. comm.), where the species is listed as Critically Endangered. The species has been reintroduced to part of its former range in eastern Germany. This species is categorized as Endangered in Switzerland (Monney and Meyer, 2005). Further research into the range and taxonomic status of this species are needed (e.g., for Yemen and Cyprus). Eradication of invasive wetland plant species is an important future conservation action.

Citation: Agasyan, A., Avci, A., Tuniyev, B., Isailovic, J.C., Lymberakis, P., Andrén, C., Cogalniceanu, D., Wilkinson, J., Ananjeva, N., Üzüm, N., Orlov, N., Podloucky, R., Tuniyev, S., Kaya, U., Ajtic, R., Vogrin M., Corti, C., Mellado, V.P., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Baha El Din, S.M., Nettmann, H.K., De Haan, C.C., Sterijovski, B., Schmidt, B. & Meyer, A. 2010. Natrix tessellata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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