The Cyclades blunt-nosed viper has become seriously threatened as a result of habitat destruction, road mortality and removal by man. Two big quarries are in continuous operation on western Milos, which have considerably increased in size over the last 15 years and destroyed large areas of pristine habitat. Additionally, there are plans for more quarries on western Milos, which pose an extremely significant threat to this critically endangered species. Fires also cause habitat destruction, destroying the large bushes and trees in which the main prey, birds, are found. During the period of ‘reforestation’ after a fire, goat and sheep grazing can be highly destructive, preventing trees and large bushes from growing. At present, tourism does not threaten the snake’s habitat, but a new airport planned for Milos may increase tourism to a level that is damaging to viper habitats. The other islands appear to provide fairly pristine, untouched habitat, and the populations there are healthy, although a little smaller than on Milos (2).
Road kill also poses a very serious problem, with an estimated 300+ snakes killed each summer on western Milos. Recent years have also seen an increase in collection of the snake for the pet trade, and an established population of feral cats are also a possible danger to the snake on western Milos, particularly to the survival of newborns and subadults (2).