Corfu 2012

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


4 Comments on “Corfu 2012

  1. May 22. Had a walk around today and saw 1 4stripe snake (huge) wrapped around a church doorway, several small lizards. 1 Montpellier snake (we think) 1 large green lizard – very casually wandering across the road out of the village, and one large female tortoise. A great day. Also spotted large raptor soaring and several swallows. Scops owl calling near villa in Kaminaki


  2. Hello I am fascinated by your blog and was trying to find out what might be on Majorca for me to find while there soon. I was saddened that Pantokrator has suffered from a serious fire as my wife and I took a picture of a sand boa (dor) as we walked to the summit in 2007 we also saw a very large four lined snake by a stream near Corfu town. Thank you for your information.


  3. Thanks for the comments. Jon, I’d appreciate if you could email me your photo of the Sand boa at: They haven’t been recorded in the north of the island so this would be a nice addition to the so far poor knowledge of this snake on Corfu. I’ve only ever found it in the south. There are a few species to find on Majorca, but in summer it’s not easy, see here:


  4. Hi Matt, hopefully corfu in 4 days time [ mum in law ill ]. through personal experience and visiting various web sites I am amazed most of these herptiles, in particular the snakes are not extinct. numerous adults DOR and locals prepared to kill on site. most snakes presumably only lay 20-30 eggs and young must have high attrition rate due to predation- sometimes by other herptiles. just shows how resilient they must be. Richard


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