A green and yellow snake - www.matthieu-berroneau.fr
- The SOS Serpents network in Nouvelle-Aquitaine received as many calls during the two months of confinement as during the whole of 2019.
- Most of the observations were made around Bordeaux, and mainly concerned the green and yellow snake.
- For the Cistude Nature association, this shows that there is a real interest in nature and biodiversity.
During the two months of confinement, the SOS Serpents network in Nouvelle-Aquitaine received approximately 150 calls. Or as much as for the whole of 2019. "And it continues on a high pace since the end of confinement," notes the herpetologist Matthieu Berroneau, responsible for this network.
Does this mean that the snakes came out more during confinement? Certainly not. This increase was more related to the fact that, being more at home, a large number of people could observe what was happening in the gardens. And again, this explanation would only be valid for the start of containment. "Since we started talking about us, it is likely that people simply learned of our existence during confinement," emphasizes Matthieu Berroneau.
The green and yellow snake, an impressive but harmless snake
Most species have been observed "mainly in the Bordeaux region, because that is where there is the largest number of inhabitants, it is quite logical", analyzes the specialist. And in reality, the calls concerned "overwhelmingly", one species in particular: the green and yellow snake. "It is the most abundant snake in the region, and it is also the one that best withstands urban pressure, it can survive even in the city, while the other species are more sensitive to human disturbance and concreteisation. "Explains Matthieu Berroneau.
The green and yellow snake - which is actually black and yellow - is not dangerous. “But it is impressive because it is a snake which becomes very large and which can measure more than 1.50 m in length. It is a very alive species, which moves quickly, and very powerful, it is thanks to these qualities that it survives relatively well. And she is not very fierce. "
"Finding this kind of animal in your garden is normal"
So what should you do when you find one? First of all, "it is important not to destroy it, it is even prohibited since it is a fully protected species, insists the herpetologist. People often ask us this question of what to do, but in fact there is nothing to do. When they see a robin or a hedgehog, they do not ask themselves this question, and well there it is the same thing. It is a completely harmless animal. Do not hesitate to take a photo and send it to us, document yourself to learn how it lives, because it is when you start to have knowledge that you stop being afraid. "
SOS Serpents will not move to remove a snake, "because finding this kind of animal in its garden is normal", unless it is stuck and it risks dying. "After, but it is very rare, when it is an aspic viper, there we move, because it is a poisonous snake, and even if it is not dangerous in the sense that it does not not pursue humans, in rare cases it can bite, and its venom is quite powerful. "
"All that was seen was species that we no longer paid attention to"
As for the Cistude Nature association, of which Matthieu Berroneau is a member, we are delighted with this large number of calls. "This shows that we are starting to reach people who until now were not or not very attentive to nature, assures its director Christophe Coïc. They are beginning to ask questions, and the case of snakes is revealing, but there have also been many questions around insects in gardens, vegetable gardens or balconies. Instead of destroying, we question, and it's really positive. "
If Christophe Coïc appreciates that "people started to hear natural noises like the song of birds and the noise of insects", that they sent "a lot of photos on social networks, or on pages reserved on nature "However, he does not believe at all that" during these two little months, nature woke up or that there were more species. All that was seen was species that we no longer paid attention to. "
"Now, we will have to remember all this," hopes the director of the environmental association. And Matthieu Berroneau urges those who have a garden, "to understand the interest of leaving certain parts a little fallow, with deferred mowing, because this can allow to maintain an interesting biodiversity within the agglomerations. Mentalities have to change from this point of view if we want to keep a minimum of life around us. "
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