The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

ISSN 0268-0130


pdf 02. Smooth snakes at an Iberian mountain isolate and the relationship with competing southern smooth snakes

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pp. 161-168
Authors: Moreira, Pedro L.; Diamantino, Jacinto L.; Conde, José C. & Martins, Filipe A.F.

Abstract: Smooth snakes (Coronella austriaca) confined to cold-humid environments in Iberian high mountains may be threatened by the effects of climate warming, such as the expansion uphill of competing southern smooth snakes (C. girondica), but demographic studies allowing the assessment of population tendencies are lacking. Here, we determined the distributions and abundances of both species at Serra da Estrela based on records over 18 years (1993–2010). Smooth snakes comprised an isolated population at altitudes above 800 m. Abundances were highest above 1300 m, with densities of about one smooth snake per hectare above 1580 m. The distributions of the two species overlapped at altitudes of about 800–1600 m. We did not find any evidence for range shifts, or changes in smooth snake abundance over the past 18 years. Sex ratios were even, and high dietary specialization may contribute to the species' vulnerability. Efforts to conserve the smooth snake at Serra da Estrela should encompass studies aiming to improve knowledge of the species' demography, as well as continued monitoring to evaluate potential threats posed by climate warming. Our study may provide a baseline tool for future research on this poorly known snake.

Keywords: CORONELLA AUSTRIACA, ABUNDANCE, DISTRIBUTION, CORONELLA GIRONDICA, CONSERVATION

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.