LIFE Project Cover Photo

Control of the invasive species Lampropeltis getula californiae on the island of Gran Canaria (BIODIV)

Reference: LIFE10 NAT/ES/000565 | Acronym: LAMPROPELTIS



Invasive alien species (IAS) are organisms that are non-native to an ecosystem, but which have either been introduced or have spread outside their natural habitats. They pose particular risks for biodiversity, often causing decline or elimination of native species and the disruption of local ecosystems and ecosystem functions. According to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2006), since the 17th century, they have contributed to nearly 40% of all animal extinctions for which the cause is known. They also often cause additional economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health. The Californian kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) is an invasive alien snake that is quickly spreading on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. The Canary Islands have no native snake species whatsoever. It is a powerful predator with a wide range of targets. Among its main prey on the island, we count some reptile species endemic to the Canary Islands. It also poses a serious threat to other endangered species, such as the Gran Canaria blue chaffinch (Fringilla teydea). The first indications of the snake’s presence on the island date back to 1998, although the naturalisation of the populations was not observed until 2004. It is currently present in two main large nuclei. Given the species's capacity for adaptation and acclimatisation, it is likely to spread to the rest of the island.


The main aim of the LIFE+ Biodiversity LAMPROPELTIS project is to reduce the density and abundance of Californian kingsnakes on Gran Canaria so as to minimise its impact on native biodiversity. The project hopes to contribute to the eventual eradication of this species from the island. To achieve this, the project will work towards the following sub-objectives:

  • Improved knowledge of the species, including its biology, ecology and behaviour as an IAS on islands;
  • Developing and implementing reliable techniques for the detection and capture of exotic invasive snakes; and
    • Developing legislation to prevent and deal with further invasions by invasive alien species;
    • The project will provide public authorities with appropriate and adequate tools for preventing and managing invasions of alien vertebrates and for motivating concerned sections of society to join the fight against IAS.

      Expected results:

      • A significant reduction in the California kingsnake population on Gran Canaria;
      • Tools for detecting, capturing and controlling the entry of exotic species;
      • A good practices handbook for dealing with exotic species; and
      • The boosting of international networks involved in the fight against IAS.


    Reference: LIFE10 NAT/ES/000565
    Start Date: 01/09/2011
    End Date: 01/09/2015
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,025,863 €
    EU Contribution: 512,931 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Gestión y Planeamiento Territorial y Medioambiental, S.A.U.
    Legal Status: PAT
    Address: C/Francisco Gourié, 107 - 3a, 35002, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (isla de Gran Canaria),
    Contact Person: External Team NEEMO-IDOM
    Email: Send Email

    LIFE Project Map



    • Invasive species


    • biodiversity


    • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)


    • None or non applicable


    Type Code Name
    SCI ES7010011 Amagro
    SCI ES7010012 Bandama


    Name Type
    Gestión y Planeamiento Territorial y Medioambiental, S.A.U. Coordinator
    None Participant