STAFF REPORTER
THE regional Ministry for the Environment has warned its counterpart in Agriculture that it should be very careful about bringing in trees through Balearic ports since some consignments, unawares, are carrying snakes and their eggs in the roots.

A spokesman for the Environment Ministry said this month that snakes are now swelling in numbers across some areas of Majorca, principally in the north, and on Ibiza. Other ways that the reptiles are gaining access is through construction material, plants and shrubs which are brought in from the mainland.

A number of hunting groups have reported the fact that they have noted increasing numbers of reptiles when they are out in woods and scrubland. Principally, three types have been identified. In 2007, a significant growth in the population of Mediterranean snakes was registered in the Balearics - 16 more than the previous year had been counted to bring the total for last year to 29. The most important jump in population has emerged in Ibiza where nine Mediterranean snakes were counted in 2007. In Sant Joan de Llabritja, seven serpents were picked up and more than a dozen were spotted but without being able to identify the species.

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