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A new study, published in the latest issue of PLoS ONE, revealed the origin and the potential expansion of snakes invading the Balearic Islands. The study was conducted by an international team of researchers which includes Iolanda Silva-Rocha, Daniele Salvi and Miguel Carretero, from CIBIO-InBIO’s Applied Phylogenetics Group, and also scientists from the Research Center in Geo-Spatial Sciences of the University of Porto and the Spanish Herpetological Association.


Thorough analyses based on a combination of molecular markers and ecological niche models allowed not only the identification of potential invasion pathways, but also future areas of expansion of invasive snakes. The results show that these recent invaders have their origin in the Iberian Peninsula and most seem to have been introduced in the archipelago in hollow ornamental olive trees.


Although these species of snakes are not dangerous to humans, they may represent a menace to several species of birds and small mammals. Climate change may also increase the habitats suitable for these reptiles on the islands, researchers added. Therefore it is urgent to implement measures, such as using traps for eradication, controlling plant trade and raising the awareness of the population towards the problem.



To know more about this issue, please read the following news reports:


El aumento de reptiles puede amenazar el ecossistema de las Balears | Ultima Hora | Apr 10, 2015 (in Spanish only)


Investigadores piden medidas urgentes ante el aumento de reptiles en Baleares | El Confidencial | Apr 10, 2015 (in Spanish only)


Estudo prevê expansão de serpentes invasoras nas ilhas Baleares | Diário Digital | Apr 10, 2015 (in Portuguese only)



To read the official press release for this article, please click in the link below:

Serpentes invasoras: de onde e para onde?!



To read the original article, please click on the link below:


Snakes on the Balearic Islands: an invasion tale with implications for native biodiversity conservation.


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