Ibiza snake panics as tourism boom causes huge increase in reptile numbers | World | News

Historically, Ibiza has naturally not had snakes inhabiting the island. But as British tourists increase demand for imported food and exotic plants, there has been an influx of snakes.

There are now four species of snakes in Ibiza, with the horseshoe whip snake posing the greatest threat to Ibiza’s lizard population.

Research on the island has revealed that snakes have taken over half of the land in Ibiza.

Censuses show that areas with large numbers of lizards have not yet been invaded by snakes, but areas with large numbers of predators are growing according to research.

A local council is handing out free traps and paying locals to destroy the island’s snakes, as they threaten to wipe out the lizards.

A group of British expatriates, funded by a member of the board of directors of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), is also promoting ‘green vacations’ to help restore the natural habitats of the island.

According to the Telegraph, Ibiza Preservation hopes to reduce the need for imports and get visitors to enjoy local Ibizan cuisine.

The group was created by expatriate Serena Cook, who runs a high-end concierge service on the island. and Ben Goldsmith, a financier and nature activist who sits on the DEFRA board of directors.

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Kate Benyon-Tinker, another British expat and communications manager for Ibiza Preservation, told the Telegraph: “We try to get people to like lizards, pictures of them are sold on fridge magnets, beach towels and others.

“They evolved to eat vegetation due to the lack of other food on the islands.

“This means that they pollinate all plants, they are extremely important for the ecosystem.

“We’re supporting a campaign to save the lizard and what they’re doing is trying to get the word out about snake trapping, and what you’re doing and encouraging people to get their own traps.”

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Ibiza Preservation has funded local groups who are conserving the island’s natural resources and campaigning for the British to participate in more sustainable tourism.

Ms Benyon-Tinker also told The Telegraph that the group aims to rejuvenate the island’s farms and help make Ibiza “a more foodie destination”.

She added to the point of sale: “The type of tourism here means that they have this problem where a huge amount of tourists are coming down to a beach in a very short period of time.

“And what’s much better for the island is if you can have more constant tourism all year round, so that you have winter tourism where people come and they are more interested in the walks. , and you know, eating in good restaurants and having those kinds of farm-to-table experiences.

It comes after researchers Elba Montes, Fred Kraus, Brahim Chergui and Juan M Pleguezuelos published a study on “the collapse of the endemic lizard (the Ibiza wall lizard) on the island of Ibiza by an invading snake “earlier this year.

Over the past 18 years, researchers have said that the Ibiza wall lizard fell prey to the horseshoe whip snake after the predatory reptiles were brought to the island inside the olive trees.

The researchers determined that the invasive reptile occupies 49.31% of the island and 43.04% of the entire range of the lizards.

Based on the data, researchers believe snakes will cover the entire island of Ibiza by 2027-2028.

The rapid cover of the island of Ibiza results in a very rapid decline of the wall lizards of Ibiza until their disappearance in the invaded range.

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