The Hungarian meadow viper Vipera ursinii rakosiensis - will it survive another year? Zmije rakosska Vipera ursinii rakosiensis - prezije dalsi rok?
Gazella 31: 183-205
Our planet's biodiversity is under threat! Alarming information that, unfortunately, we have become used to as a norm for the present. The provoking reports on the existence of endangered animal species get to the so-called developed world by means of all kinds of communication media. Ecologists raise a warning finger the more radical a fist. Zoos launch campaigns to attack our feelings. It is usually a matter of an exotic animal and we fail to understand why the people living in those far off lands are so indifferent to the fates of "their" endangered species, why aren't they able to stop the pillage of the rainforests, why can't they prevent the unbridled commercial hunting of key endangered and trophy species, which is far beyond the boundaries of ecological and moral acceptability, why don't they limit the insane and frequently clearly unnecessary expansion of pastures, why do they allow water, soil and the air to become poisoned, why are they not willing to cross off the delicacies from rare animals on their menus etc, etc. In our sometimes patronising judiciousness it somehow escapes us that even here in Europe not everything is perfect, that memorable animal species are disappearing, quite literally in front of our eyes and we are unable to do anything about it due to indifference, inadequate bureaucracy and wanton technocracy. One of the most endangered European reptiles is the Hungarian Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii rakosiensis), whose numbers have dropped to the very edge of survival. Its definitive extinction can only be a matter of years, but maybe even months or weeks! How has this come about? Can we conserve the Meadow Viper?