Gerald Durrell’s Corfu 2012 by the Durrell School of Corfu
I was delighted to be invited back for a second time by the Durrell School of Corfu to participate as one of the leaders of Gerald Durrell’s Corfu week in May 2012, specifically to lead the guided walks on Herpetology. Like last year the week was very successful and despite variable weather we could observe a diverse amount of amphibians and reptiles on Corfu.
Weather conditions frequently changed throughout the week, from very hot temperatures on several days (over 30C) together with heavy rain and storms on other days. In addition a huge fire from August 2011 caused severe damage to many areas of Pantokrator and its descending foothills and completely wiped out vast areas of habitat as well as the majority of the species that lived within it. One particular area which was my most profitable search site last year was completely burnt, and this year only a single Green lizard could be seen there.
Rather than writing an in depth field report I have added a selection of photographs from the week, not all of the animals were found on the walks themselves and some of the more secretive snakes I found by wandering around the nearby olive groves in the evening by myself when it was far cooler than during the afternoon. Most species occurring on Corfu were observed, although not in as greater numbers as 2011 owing to very hot weather prior to the start of the week.
Amphibians and reptiles observed during the week:
DOR= dead on road
Bufo bufo DOR, Pelophylax ridibunda, Pelophylax epeirotica, Hyla arborea, Lissotriton vulgaris, Caretta caretta (one live, one dead on the beach), Testudo hermanni (Common), Emys orbicularis, Mauremys rivulata, Ablepharus kitaibelli, Hemidactylus turcicus, Laudakia stellio, Algyroides nigropunctatus, Lacerta trilineata, Anguis graeca, Pseudopus apodus, Hierophis gemonensis (7 specimens, several DOR), Malpolon insignitus (6, plus several DOR), Platyceps najadum (2), Natrix natrix (2), Zamenis longissimus (1 DOR), Elaphe quatuorlineata (3), Zamenis situla (2) Typhlops vermicularis (3), Vipera ammodytes (1)
All images are copyright (C) Matt Wilson 2012