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Vipera latastei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Vipera latastei
Species Authority: Boscá, 1878
Common Name(s):
English Lataste's Viper
Spanish víbora hocicuda
Synonym(s):
Vipera latasti Boscà, 1878
Vipera latasti Boscà, 1878
Taxonomic Notes: Both spellings (latastei and latasti) appeared in different places in the original description by Boscà and were subsequently used by different authors. David and Ineich (1999) acted as the first reviser and selected latastei as the valid spelling. However, the name is still under dispute (Montori and Llorente 2005), and is under discussion in the International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature (V. Pérez-Mellado pers. comm.). Populations in the Atlas mountains of Morocco, currently assigned to a separate species V. monticola, may in fact belong to this species (Brito et al. 2006).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Marc Cheylan, M. Saïd Nouira, Ulrich Joger, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Iñigo Martínez-Solano
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because this species is probably in significant decline (at a rate of more than 30% over three generations [approximately 20 years]) because of widespread habitat loss and persecution through much of its range. Localized extinctions in parts of its range are possible (e.g. Tunisia, Spain).
History:
2006 Near Threatened (IUCN 2006)
2006 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from northern Morocco to northern Algeria, and extreme northwestern Tunisia in North Africa, and it is also present on the Iberian Peninsula where it has a fragmented population in both Portugal and Spain (being absent from the north of Spain). The species has been not recorded in Tunisia during the last 55 years, despite targeted and intensive searches (Juan M Pleguezuelos pers. comm., October 2008). Populations of vipers from the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco formerly allocated to V. monticola are now recognized as belonging to V. latastei (Brito et al. 2006). It occurs from sea level up to almost 3,000 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Algeria; Morocco; Portugal; Spain
Possibly extinct:
Tunisia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is a species that is increasingly rare and fragmented throughout its range.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in generally moist, rocky areas, in dry scrubland and woodland, hedgerows, stone walls and sometimes in coastal dunes. The females give birth to between two and 13 young. On average, females give birth only once every three years.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is marginally utilized for traditional medicine.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has declined throughout much of the lowlands and even in the montane areas of Iberia. Threats identified include direct persecution when encountered, coastal urbanization, afforestation with coniferous trees, burning of suitable habitat, intensification of agricultural practices, and accidental mortality (particularly of males) on roads.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention. The species does occur in protected areas in the Iberian peninsula and Morocco.

Citation: Jose Antonio Mateo Miras, Marc Cheylan, M. Saïd Nouira, Ulrich Joger, Paulo Sá-Sousa, Valentin Pérez-Mellado, Iñigo Martínez-Solano 2009. Vipera latastei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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