Aesculapian Snake (Zamenis longissimus)
The main goal of the Action Plan is to preserve viable populations of Zamenis longissimus in all three known, isolated areas of occurrence in the Czech Republic, that is in Poohří (Eger River Basin), Podyjí (Thaya River Basin) and Karpaty (the Carpathians).
This goal should be reached by carrying out the following measures:
- Ensuring appropriate biotopes for the Aesculapian Snake by caring for hatching places, significant biotope elements and migratory corridors. In Poohří also by renewal and maintenance of small water bodies.
- Protecting individuals while cleaning road ditches in Poohří.
- Monitoring of biotopes, hatching places, also monitoring the state of populations and gathering additional data.
- Gathering basic data in the areas of Karpaty and Beskydy in the western Carpathians.
- Investigation of other potential sites in the Czech Republic.
- Research on reproduction and telemetric studies.
- Education by means of information boards and other materials.
- Mapping suitable biotopes in marginal parts and outside of the present distribution areas in Poohří and Podyjí.
- Conservation of hollow trees.
- Support of small-scale farming.
- Minimizing negative effects of construction and other impacts.
The fundamental component of the Action Plan is the maintenance of appropriate biotopes for the Aesculapian Snake: this will be carried out by the management of hatching places, significant biotope elements and migratory corridors. In addition, the renewal and maintenance of small water bodies will be carried out in Poohří in order to sustain a sufficient food base (especially juveniles feed on small frogs). In order to limit negative factors causing increased mortality, protection of individuals while cleaning road ditches will be taken care of in Poohří.
During the entire course of the Action Plan, the state of biotopes and of the whole population will be monitored in a way allowing the evaluation of its effectiveness.
Basic data on presence or absence of the species, possibly on characteristics of local populations will be gathered in selected areas (Bílé Karpaty, southern part of Beskydy and other potential sites).
Existing knowledge of the species will be completed by research on reproduction and by a telemetric study. An integral part of the Action Plan is a targeted education, especially in areas with synanthropic occurrence of the snake, or in areas intersected by tourist trails.
Possibility of expanding the existing distribution areas will be facilitated by mapping suitable biotopes in marginal areas and outside of the current distribution areas in Poohří in and Podyjí.
Last but not least, cooperation with important subjects farming in the Aesculapian Snake sites occurrence will be secured (conservation of hollow trees, supporting the small-scale farming in use of agricultural lands, and minimizing negative effects of construction and other impacts).