Residents bite back on Milos viper protection

Environmentalists on Milos yesterday hit back at a recent European Court of Justice ruling criticizing Greece for not doing enough to protect a rare breed of viper that is mostly indigenous to the Cycladic island. They told Kathimerini that the main reason the snake is at risk is because foreigners are taking them from the island to sell as pets. Sources said the snake, known as Vipera schweizeri or the Cycladic blunt-nosed viper, sells for around 2,000 euros because it is a rare breed. The snake is on a list of endangered species and experts believe that half of the rare vipers can be found on Milos. The EU said in March that Greece is doing little to protect the snake, arguing that sheep and cows are allowed to graze in an area used by the vipers to reproduce and rest. But locals reject these claims.

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