Bitis rhinoceros 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Bitis rhinoceros (Schlegel, 1855)
Common Name(s):
English Rhinoceros Viper, West African Gaboon Adder, West African Gaboon Viper, Western Gaboon Adder, Western Gaboon Viper
French Vipère du Gabon de l’Ouest
Clotho rhinoceros (Schlegel, 1855)
Echidna rhinoceros (Schlegel, 1855)
Vipera rhinoceros Schlegel, 1855

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-07-16
Assessor(s): Johnny, J., Penner, J., Rödel , M.-O., Luiselli, L., Segniagbeto, G., Chirio, L. & Trape, J.
Reviewer(s): Penner, J. & Bowles, P.
Listed as Least Concern as this species is widespread, can be locally common, and is adaptable and not subject to major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges from Guinea to Togo (Chippaux 2006) occuring from sea level up to 1,520 m.
Countries occurrence:
Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone; Togo
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1520
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This snake can be locally abundant, with as many as 282 individuals recorded within a few square kilometres in Côte d'Ivoire (Doucet 1963, Penner et al. 2008). A population density of 0.053 animals per hectare, low for a large viper, was calculated during a recent study of Taï National Park, however, the authors caution that recapture rates were too low to derive a robust estimate (Penner et al. 2008). The species' population status is otherwise unstudied and reliable estimates are difficult to derive due to the snakes' cryptic habits (Penner et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This nocturnal snake is found in moist Guinean savanna, humid forest and anthropogenic habitats, including both subsistence and agro-industrial plantations, and is not uncommon in towns (Chippaux 2006). It is viviparous, giving birth to 13-15 young (Chippaux 2006). It also occurs at forest edges (W.R. Branch pers. comm. 2012).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This snake is used as food and for leather, and is likely to be used for local medicinal purposes. It is found in the international pet trade and (as B. gabonica rhinoceros) was among the non-CITES reptile species that commanded the highest prices in the European Union in the 1990s (Auliya 2003).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is subject to forest degradation due to deforestation and use by locals; as this snake has broad habitat tolerances these activities are not considered to be affecting the global population significantly.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in many protected areas.

Citation: Johnny, J., Penner, J., Rödel , M.-O., Luiselli, L., Segniagbeto, G., Chirio, L. & Trape, J. 2013. Bitis rhinoceros. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T13300925A13300932. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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