Success of the wildlife refuges for reptiles built in the Montseny Natural Park

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As a consequence of the abandonment of crops and farm buildings, an important habitat for reptiles has disappeared in recent decades: dry-stone walls. To reverse this situation and promote the conservation of these vertebrates, the Park of Montseny-Biosphere Reserve Conservation Plan includes actions focused on recovering refuges and warm-up sites for reptiles.

To work towards this goal, in 2012 December the construction of six wildlife refuges began with the collaboration of volunteers in Pla de la Calma. These refuges are made from piles of stone, arranged in circular structures or in the shape of a small dry-stone wall. Spaces between the stones provide shelter for reptiles and flat stones on the top provide warm-up sites.

A study conducted by Minuartia last June has revealed that the refuges are being used by reptiles. Four different species were detected. Those found with the highest frequency were two of the most abundant species in Montseny Park: the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) and the Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis hispanica). Two other species were detected, the common wall gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) and a much rarer one, the ocellated lizard (Timon lepidus).