Reptile Abundance in Temperate-Zone Europe: Effect of Regional Climate and Habitat Factors in Latvia

Andris Čeirāns


The role of large-scale factors in influencing reptile abundances in temperate-zone lowland Europe is relatively obscure. Data on relative abundances of reptiles were collected in various regions of Latvia. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the relationship between reptile abundance and climate and habitat predictors. For lizards, habitat was a more important regional-scale factor than climate, although warmth of summer was important in Lacerta agilis. For snakes, however, climate was a highly significant factor. Natrix natrix in Latvia is common only in areas with mild winter climate at elevations below 50 m a.s.l., while Vipera berus is frequent in upland areas with relatively harsh winters. Potentially, the latter species could be negatively affected by global warming.


reptiles; abundance; climate; habitats; temperate-zone Europe; Latvia

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