Aeolian wall lizard (Podarcis raffonei)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 222530488
Saving the largest extant population of the critically endangered lizard Podarcis raffonei.
The observed deterioration of P. raffonei population status from 2017 to 2022 on the Capo Grosso peninsula, in terms of numbers of lizards and individual body conditions, can be correlated to both the increased rat density and the abandonment of pasture on Capo Grosso. We aim to drastically reduce the black rat (Rattus rattus) population on Capo Grosso, to limit both indirect competition and predation on P. raffonei and halt the decline of this critically endangered lizard. By installing a network of poison-free traps and mechanically removing the elm-leaf blackberry and the other non-native species, we will reinstitute the 2017 habitat and support the Aeolian wall lizard population and the autochthonous fauna and flora. Following the initial months where the rat population will be brought to 0 density and the vegetation will be controlled, we will monitor the possible return and persistence of rats on the promontory through a system of camera traps and detection cards, in order to assess the necessary actions in the long-term.
Project 222530488 location - Italy, Europe