Defending Ibiza and Formentera’s iconic reptile from invasive snakes
The Ibiza wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis) is endemic to both Ibiza and Formentera. However, this species is seriously endangered due to the proliferation of invasive snakes that began to arrive from the mainland in the 2000s, mainly in the trunks of imported trees. The situation is so severe that several recent studies indicate that the lizard, which has been present on the islands since before the first humans arrived 4000 years ago, could soon become extinct.
Check out our interactive infographic below to find out more about this iconic creature!
This IbizaPreservation project seeks to collaborate with the various organisations and groups that are already working to protect the lizards and eradicate the snakes from the islands, in the following ways:
- Producing 100 prototype “smart” traps, in order to test new technology developed in a “hackathon” organised by the Ajuntament d’Eivissa in 2022. The traps will be handed over to COFIB, the Consortium for the Recovery of Fauna of the Balearic Islands, for their management.
- Manufacturing 100 lizard sanctuaries to reinforce urban habitats where their populations survive. These are being installed in landscaped areas of hotels and schools in collaboration with GEN-GOB as part of their ‘Sargantanes o Serps‘ project.
- Conducting a mass trapping exercise in two protected areas – Ses Feixes de Talamanca and Ses Salines natural park – where snakes proliferate, to measure the effectiveness of this method.
These activities are being carried out thanks to co-funding from CaixaBank and Fundació Sa Nostra, through their ‘Convocatoria de Medioambiente’, which promotes projects aimed at improving natural heritage, through the protection of biodiversity, environmental innovation, circular economy and rural development. We are also grateful to Grupo Eroski and WorldCoo for supporting the project via their ‘Céntimos Solidarios’ initiative.
How can I get involved?
- If you see a snake, call 112 or register the sighting through the Línea Verde app.
- If you have a home in a rural or peri-urban area, consider getting traps and training on how to handle them. They use live mice as bait, which are placed in a separate compartment so that snakes cannot access them, and need to be fed and watered regularly.
- Volunteer to set and maintain the traps and take care of the snakes once they are caught.
For more information and resources, or to offer yourself as a volunteer, visit the website of Sargantanes o Serps, a platform promoted by GEN-GOB and Amics de la Terra.