Species and habitat description

It is a dense, cylindrical, lizard species with no limbs reaching 40 cm in length. In Hungary, it is not easy to distinguish between the two slow-warm species. The point of reference is primarily their location. Eastern Slow-warm wears blue patches more often than Slow-warm. The ear-hole of the Eastern Slow-warm is clearly visible and the nasal shield and forehead are mostly in contact, with 26 to 30 dorsal fins in the middle of its body.
Eastern Slow-warm is primarily associated with partially enclosed forest or shrub vegetation east of the Danube. Due to this, it occurs mostly in our mountains and hills, but it can also be found in our naturally preserved lowland forests or on the edges of floodplains. It is most often found on the edges of forests, on the edges of forest clearings, and on hiking trails where often lie down to sun-bathe. The presence of hiding places (decaying logs, stone piles, stone fences, rodents’ holes) is important to it. It also dives into gardens near its habitat. Slow-worms are going into hibernation in mid-October under logs, roots, rodents’ holes or rock crevices.

Major threats

Slow-worms are relatively common in habitats suitable for them in Hungary. It is heavily dependent on forests in Hungary; therefore, the forest management may have a significant impact on the size of its population. Negative factors include the high proportion of invasive tree species, the traditional forest management mode, the stabilized and densely used forest exploration road network, and the increasing mechanization of forest management. The elimination or disappearance of glades and forest edges by natural deforestation and the removal of dead wood can also be significant negative factors. Unfortunately, many of them, thought to be snakes, are beaten to death by ignorance, , even though our snake species are protected. However, dividing the domestic population into two species means that they share our country, so the distribution area of each species is much smaller and is restricted to only one half of the country.

Specific conservation action

Restoration of the natural condition of oak forests, creating different types of deadwood (mainly lying dead wood) and piles made out of thin branches, especially in sunny spots. reducing traffic on forest roads, and placing signboards can help protect the species.


Related project areas
Garábi Varjú-bérc