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Are snake populations in widespread decline?

Reading, C.J.; Luiselli, L.M.; Akani, G.C.; Bonnet, X.; Amori, G.; Ballouard, J.M.; Filippi, E.; Naulleau, G.; Pearson, D.; Rugiero, L.. 2010 Are snake populations in widespread decline? Biology Letters, 6. 777-780. 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0373

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Abstract/Summary

Long-term studies have revealed population declines in fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. In birds, and particularly amphibians, these declines are a global phenomenon whose causes are often unclear. Among reptiles, snakes are top predators and therefore a decline in their numbers may have serious consequences for the functioning of many ecosystems. Our results show that, of 17 snake populations (eight species) from the UK, France, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, 11 have declined sharply over the same relatively short period of time with five remaining stable and one showing signs of a marginal increase. Although the causes of these declines are currently unknown, we suspect that they are multi-faceted (such as habitat quality deterioration, prey availability), and with a common cause, e.g. global climate change, at their root.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0373
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity
CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment
CEH Sections: Hails
ISSN: 1744-9561
Additional Keywords: snakes, sharp population declines, carrying capacity, global climate change
NORA Subject Terms: Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Feb 2011 12:03
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/13437

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