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.

 ISSN 0268-0130

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pdf 06. Are fibrocement slabs a useful tool for monitoring reptiles? The case of Hierophis viridiflavus in its south-western limit of distribution


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pp. 100-106

Authors: Iñaki Romero-Iraola, Xabier Rubio, Alberto Gosá & Ion Garin-Barrio

Abstract: The established methodology in detection and long-term reptile monitoring programmes has so far focused on visual encounter surveys (VES), a method that can yield very high capture rates for snakes, but, even when carried out in favourable habitats, can also be very limited. Therefore, one passive sampling method was tested: fibrocement slabs. A total of 81 slabs were placed in nine sampling stations in the southern part of Irún (Basque Autonomous Community, Spain). During the two years of sampling (2020–2021) a total of 79 reptile records were obtained, of which 33 were records of the European whip snake corresponding to 28 individuals. There was at least one reptile record in each transect and 75% of the reptile species present in the study area were detected. However, we did not identify any trend over time that indicated an increase in the number of individuals captured during the second year. All in, the data obtained have provided positive results; therefore, it could prove to be a very useful methodology for reptile studies, in particular for ophidians.

Keywords: European whip snake, conservation, methodology, artificial refuge, capture, detection, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain

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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.