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Erythrolamprus perfuscus 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Dipsadidae

Scientific Name: Erythrolamprus perfuscus
Species Authority: (Cope, 1862)
Common Name(s):
English Barbados Racer, Tan Ground Snake
Synonym(s):
Liophis perfuscus Cope, 1862
Taxonomic Source(s): Grazziotin, F.G., Zaher, H., Murphy, R.W., Scrocchi, G., Benavides, M.A., Zhang, Y.-P. and Bonatto, S.L. 2012. Molecular phylogeny of the New World Dipsadidae (Serpentes: Colubroidea): a reappraisal. Cladistics 28(5): 437-459. DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00393.x.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-07-21
Assessor(s): Daltry, J.C.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hanson, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Justification:
Listed as Extinct on the basis that this species was last recorded before 1963 and has not been found in repeated subsequent surveys. Barbados is a very heavily-developed island and numerous introduced species, including mongoose, cats and rats, are widespread. The magnitude of these threats to a ground-dwelling snake, combined with evidence of historical decline, leaves little reasonable doubt that - although seen alive comparatively recently, little more than 50 years ago - this species is now extinct.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from historical records from Barbados, from which it was last recorded in 1963 (Underwood et al. 1999). More recent reports represent confusion with Mastigodryas bruesi, thought to be an introduction to the island. The history of these two species on Barbados is very confused; descriptions from the 17th Century of snakes on the island refer to an arboreal snake, and Erythrolamprus are typically terrestrial or aquatic. This suggests either that M. bruesi may have been introduced either early in the colonial period or in the pre-Columbian period, or that this species too is native to Barbados, complicating efforts to infer the historical status of Erytholamprus perfuscus on the island from the literature.
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Barbados
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species hasn't been recorded since 1963; it was formerly probably widespread and was reportedly common on Barbados (Underwood et al. 1999). Declines appear to have coincided with the introduction of mongoose to Barbados. Emsley (1963) reported that the species appeared to be abundant as recently as 1960; the same author reported that it had previously been considered extinct and recorded four specimens from an unnamed locality. The reliability of this testimony is unclear as it is possible this represents confusion with Mastigodryas bruesi. The snake has never since been recorded.
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This ground snake occurred in mesic habitats (Henderson and Powell 2009). It was an egg laying species (Henderson and Powell 2009).
Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no use of or trade in this species, which is extinct.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Mongoose were introduced to Barbados in the 1870s, and the species seems to have declined drastically from that period. The four specimens reported by Elmsley (1963) were from a locality identified as being in St. Joseph Parish on the border with St. John (Underwood et al. 1999). The species has never since been recorded. This record - from the most remote area of the island - is consistent with a remnant population close to extinction, and the lack of any subsequent records strongly suggests that it has now been lost. There are only around 20 ha of forest remaining on Barbados, a heavily-developed island.It is not known whether this species was able to survive in degraded habitats, although the last recorded specimens include records from the grounds of a school. Repeated targeted surveys aiming to rediscover this species have failed to record it, and it is presumed to be extinct.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are possible for this species, which is extinct. Repeated surveys have failed to record any evidence of a surviving population.

Citation: Daltry, J.C. 2016. Erythrolamprus perfuscus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T12081A71739729. . Downloaded on 23 January 2017.
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