Snake alert.

There has been a big increase in the Horseshoe Snake population of the islands. Infact, wildlife officials have captured at least 3,000 of the snakes so far this year across the Balearics. "The snakes we have in the Balearics are not a threat to humans, but they are a threat to the environment because they endanger the survival of species such as lizards and some coastal birds". Víctor Colomar, wildlife coordinator for Ibiza and Formentera said.

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"When the phenomenon began to be studied in Ibiza in 2016, experts believed that the horseshoe snake only moved on land, but since then there have been several sightings of snakes swimming in the open sea. Wildlife officials have therefore increased surveillance on islands such as Dragonera inhabited by native species at risk. These islets have gone from being a refuge for endemic lizards to becoming a trap with no escape if the snake manages to reach them.

This season between 600 and 800 snakes have been captured in Formentera, between 1,500 and 2,000 in Ibiza and a few hundred in Mallorca. "By bibliographic description these invasive snakes are terrestrial but horseshoe snakes are being seen swimming in the open sea. The danger of invasion of islets is real and the genetic reservoirs have become a trap," says Victor Colomar.