Four lined Snake

Elaphe quatuorlineata




Bolla me katër vija

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Not evaluated Data deficient Least concern NEAR THREATENED Vulnerable Endangered Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Elaphe quatuorlineata


(Lacepède, 1789)


Coluber quatuorlineatus Lacepède, 1789

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

NT, B1a+2b(i,ii,iii)

Date assessed

November 2019


Sterijovski, B.

Arsovski, D.


Tomović, L.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The Four-lined Snake’s geographic range (extent of occurrence [EOO] = 17.948 km2 and area of occupancy [AOO] = 532 km2) implies a Vulnerable status. Nevertheless, despite observed degradation of its habitats, its populations do not seem highly fragmented and are not reduced to only few locations; it has thus been assessed as Near Threatened. Moreover, it could benefit from regional rescue effects from Greece, Albania and Bulgaria, but those populations are likely facing similar threats (e.g. in Beshkov, 2015), making this unlikely. Globally and in Europe, this species has been assessed as Near Threatened.


Current population trend



In North Macedonia the population size is not accurately determined. Seems common and abundant particularly in valleys up to 900 m asl.  Globally it is thought to be in significant decline (Crnobrnja Isailović et al. 2009). The observations from the field researches in North Macedonia are suggesting that the population trend is decreasing.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

Edges of open oak forests, secondary growth forests with ample vegetation, or meadows with broad hedgerows and dry-stone walls (Speybroeck et al. 2016). Mating occurs in April and May and by July or August females lay three to 18 eggs (Speybroeck et al. 2016).

Use and trade

Use and trade

Individuals are sometimes spotted as captive-bred by hobbyists and distributed within the hobbyist community. Precise information on harvest and trade levels is not available.



It is mainly threatened by habitat loss due to intensification of agricultural practices and infrastructure development for tourism and urbanization. It is persecuted by humans in many parts of its range (Crnobrnja Isailović et al. 2009). All threats listed for this species are included in the list of priority threats to biological diversity in the “NATIONAL Strategy for biodiversity of Republic of Macedonia” (Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, 2018).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

It is listed on Annex I and II of the Bern Convention and on Annex II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive. On a national level it is listed as a protected wild species.



Sillero, N., Campos, J., Bonardi, A., Corti, C., Creemers, R., Crochet, P.-A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Denoël, M., Ficetola, G.F., Gonçalves, J., Kuzmin, S., Lymberakis, P., de Pous, P., Rodríguez, A., Sindaco, R., Speybroeck, J., Toxopeus, B., Vieites, D.R., Vences, M. 2014. Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. .p 1-31.

Micevski, B. 2015. Report of Biodiversity conditions of amphibians and reptiles of Ograzden Mt. 2014-2015. Skopje. .p/.

Uzunova, D., Kitanova, D., Spirovska, M., Hristovski, S 2015 Integral Report for the Project implementation. Final report of the project “Ecological data gap analysis and ecological sensitivity map development for the Bregalnica river watershed”. Skopje. .p/.

Particip. 2017. ‘Strengthening the capacities for implementation of NATURA 2000’. MoEPP. Skopje. .p /.

Sterijovski, B. 2018. Final report for monitoring. Maneko. Skopje. .p /.

Sterijovski, B., Tomović, L., Ajtić, R. 2014. Contribution to the knowledge of the Reptile fauna and diversity in FYR of Macedonia. .p 83–92.

Uhrin et al. 2016. Distribution updates to amphibian and reptile fauna for the Republic of Macedonia. .p 201-220.

Ministry of environment and physical planning .2018. National biodiversity strategy and action plan : for the period 2018 – 2023. Ministry of environment and physical planning. Skopje. .p 183.

Speybroeck, J. Beuckema, W., Bok, B., Voort, J.V.D. 2016. Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc London. .p /.

Beshkov, V. 2015. Red data book of the republic of Bulgaria. Animals. .p /.

Melovski, Lj., Markoski, B., Hristovski, S., Jovanovska, D., Anastasovski, V., Klincharov, S., Velevski, M., Velkovski, N., Trendafilov, A., Matevski, V., Kostadinovski, M., Karadelev, M., Levkov, Z., Kolchakovski, D. 2013. Regional division of the Republic of Macedonia for the needs of biological databases. .p 81-111.

Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Ajtic, R., Vogrin, M., Corti, C., Mellado, V.P., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J.M., Lymberakis, P., Sindaco, R., Romano, A., Jelić, D. 2009. Elaphe quatuorlineata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. .p/.

Gasc, J-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.L., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M., Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica & Museum Nationall d’ Histoire Naturelle (IEGB/SPN). Paris. .p 496.