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Charina bottae

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA BOIDAE

Scientific Name: Charina bottae
Species Authority: (Blainville, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Rubber Boa, Southern Rubber Boa
Taxonomic Notes: Nussbaum and Hoyer (1974) showed that subspecies utahensis is indistiguishable from subspecies bottae, and they regarded the concept "umbratica" as meaningless; Collins (1990) apparently agreed with this view and did not recognize any subspecies. In contrast, Erwin (1974) proposed that subspecies umbratica warrants species status; this suggestion did not gain the support of other herpetologists. Stewart (1977) recognized two subspecies (bottae and umbratica) and, pending further study, regarded populations from Mt. Pinos and the Tehachapi Mountains, California, as intergrades between these two subspecies. Stebbins (1985) continued to recognize three subspecies (bottae, utahensis, and umbratica). Rodriguez-Robles et al. (2001) used mtDNA data to examine phylogeography of C. bottae and concluded that "C. b. umbratica is a genetically cohesive, allopatric taxon that is morphologically diagnosable" [using a suite of traits] and that "it is an independent evolutionary unit that should be recognized as a distinct species, Charina umbratica". The authors acknowledged that a mixture of bottae and umbratica traits exists in populations in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mount Pinos, but they interpreted this as persistent ancestral polymorphisms. They also found no support for recognizing utahensis as a valid taxon. Crother et al. (2003) listed C. umbratica as a species whereas Stebbins (2003) mentioned the proposal but did not adopt the split. In this database we maintain umbratica as a subspecies of C. bottae until a concensus on the taxonomy of this group emerges.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of the wide range, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the west of the United States and in southwestern Canada. Its range extends from southern British Columbia south to west-central California, montane southern California (San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains, Tehachapi Mountains, Mt. Pinos, Mt. Abel), central Nevada and southern Utah, from the Pacific coast east to north-central Wyoming and western Montana, from near sea level to about 3,050 m (10,000 feet) (Stewart 1977, Stebbins 2003). Its distribution is spotty in many areas, particularly at the southern and eastern fringes of the range. Disjunct populations in the mountains of southern California have been proposed as a distinct species, C. umbratica (Rodriguez-Robles et al. 2001).
Countries:
Native:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by many occurrences or subpopulations. For example, Stewart (1977) mapped over 200 collection sites rangewide. The total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000. This snake is secretive, but under appropriate temperature and moisture conditions it becomes evident that it is locally quite common (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995). Overall, the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable. The populations in southern California may be declining but few reliable data are available.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat includes woodlands, forest clearings, patchy chaparral, meadows, and grassy savannas, generally not far from water; also riparian zones in arid canyons and sagebrush in some areas (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995, St. John 2002, Stebbins 2003). Generally this snake is found in or under rotting logs or stumps, under rocks or in crevices, or under the bark of dead fallen trees.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is not threatened in most of the range. The subspecies C. b. umbratica of southern California is reportedly declining due to habitat loss and degradation (resort development, smog, logging, wood gathering) (California Department of Fish and Game 1990).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences are in national and state parks and other protected areas. It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Charina bottae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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