Spain is home to 11 types of snakes, three of them venomous vipers—but how dangerous are they?

THERE are 11 types of snakes in Spain, but only three of these are venomous, the last of which causes between 2,000 and 5,000 bites and one or two deaths a year.

According to the president of the environmental association Iberozoa, Antonio Martín Higuera, there are only three species of vipers found on the Peninsula Iberica that ‘pose a threat to humans’: the snub-nosed viper (Vipera latastei), Seoane’s viper (Vipera seoanei) and the asp (Vipera aspis).

However, these venomous vipers are only accountable for one or two deaths a year, and as pointed out by Higuera, more people die in Spain from wasp stings or dog bites.

Most of the venomous snakes found in Spain are very small and only actually attack if touched or feel threatened in any way, otherwise their instinct is to flee.

The other 11 non-venomous species of snakes found in Spain, can measure between 50-60 centimeters and two meters, fortunately, despite their more ‘imposing’ size, none pose a threat to humans.

According to Martín, though snakes in Spain are a protected species “it is not necessary to call the Nature Protection Service (Seprona) of the Civil Guard or the local police everytime a snake is spotted.

“Because it is a wild animal, like any other, as if an owl lands on the roof of a house looking for mice, it will leave the house to look for food somewhere else once finished.” Martín said.

If in doubt, however, Seprona recommends calling 112.

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