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Borikenophis sanctaecrucis 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_onStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Dipsadidae

Scientific Name: Borikenophis sanctaecrucis
Species Authority: (Cope, 1863)
Common Name(s):
English Saint Croix Racer
Synonym(s):
Alsophis sanctaecrucis Cope, 1863
Alsophis sancticrucis Cope, 1863 [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-07-22
Assessor(s): Platenberg, R. & Powell, R.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hanson, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Justification:
This species is listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) because, while there is no expectation that any live individuals persist and the species has not been observed for over 100 years despite numerous searches, recent rediscoveries of other Caribbean reptiles thought to be extinct suggests that the survival of a very small population on the moderately large (>200 km2) island of St. Croix cannot be completely ruled out. If a population does survive, given that this is a large snake found on a densely-populated island, it must be extremely small in order to have evaded detection for so long and can reasonably be considered to consist of fewer than 50 mature individuals.
Date last seen: 19th or early 20th Century
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known only from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (Henderson and Powell 2009). Its elevational range is unknown.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Virgin Islands, U.S.
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0
Number of Locations:0
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is a large snake that occurred on an island that is now densely populated. There have been no confirmed records for over 100 years, and recent efforts to relocate the species have been futile. Thus there is no reasonable evidence to suggest that any individuals of this species remain alive (Henderson and Powell 1996, Powell and Henderson 2012, R. Platenberg unpubl. data 2015). If it survives at all, it can reasonably be assumed that the population consists of fewer than 50 mature individuals, and is geographically highly restricted.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:0-50
No. of subpopulations:0

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This diurnal species was found in xeric habitats (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 presumed to be extinct.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is thought to have become extinct due to deforestation and the introduction of mongoose.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is presumed to be extinct, however in recent years several species of Caribbean reptiles thought to have been lost have been rediscovered. These include a population of Spondylurus skinks (recently described as the new species S. magnacruzae) discovered on the offshore islet Green Cay; this species apparently became extinct on St. Croix in the 19th Century. A large snake, Haitophis anomalus, was recently found to survive on the much larger island of Hispaniola, having been missed in extensive survey work  over several decades. These examples suggest there may be a slim possibility that a small population of this snake survives (S.B. Hedges pers. comm. 2016).

Citation: Platenberg, R. & Powell, R. 2016. Borikenophis sanctaecrucis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T40791A71740001. . Downloaded on 07 December 2016.
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