CSIC researchers in the Canary Islands state the need to promote applied research as an essential tool to fight kingsnake invasion in the Archipelago

On Tuesday 19th, three researchers, experts in the study of invasive alien species and part of the Island Ecology and Evolution Group of the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology (IPNA-CSIC), took part in a meeting organised by the Government of the Canary Islands on the Monitoring Programme for the California Kingsnake.

The meeting was held by videoconference and was attended by the Regional Vice-counsellor for the Fight against Climate Change, the Director-General for Environment and Climate Change of the Canary Islands Government, as well as the Counsellor and the Director-General for Environment of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, and technicians from the Canary Islands Government, Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the public company GESPLAN.  The CSIC experts presented to the audience the main results of the research conducted to assist in the management of this invasion, supported by the Government of the Canary Islands and the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, and which has been primarily founded by the BBVA Foundation. Researchers highlighted the devastating impact detected on the population of reptiles endemic to Gran Canaria due to the presence of the kingsnake and the widespread distribution of this invasive species on the island as a result of human activity.

The Strategic Plan aimed at combatting the invasion of this snake, approved in 2018 and with a duration of four years (2019-2022), has as its main mission the economic boosting of management actions aimed at controlling what, in the opinion of researchers, could be one of the most harmful invasive species in the Canary Islands. One of the four fundamental pillars defined in this Plan was the implementation of an ambitious block of actions aimed at applied research. However, it has not yet been possible to initiate all the research activities included in this Plan, as the collaboration agreement planned between the Canary Islands Government and the CSIC has not materialised. The researchers stress that research is perhaps the only way to find an effective solution to the expansion of the kingsnake in the islands.

(Image by Julien C. Piquet)

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