|Scientific Name:||Epicrates monensis|
|Species Authority:||Zenneck, 1898|
|Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:|
Epicrates gracilis monensis Zenneck, 1898
Epicrates inornatus granti Stull, 1933
E. monensis monensis Zenneck, 1898 - Mona Island Boa
E. monensis granti Stull, 1933 - Virgin Islands Boa
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Endangered B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1|
|Assessor/s:||Mayer, G.C. & Tolson P.J.|
|Reviewer/s:||Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M.|
|Contributor/s:||De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.|
Epicrates monensis has been assessed as Endangered as it has a restricted and highly fragmented island distribution with an extent of occurrence less than 5,000 km2. Continuing decline in the quality of habitat is affecting this species, mainly due to the introduction of mammalian predators. Conservation practises to eradicate introduced mammals have been established and are proving successful at the moment. However, the species' habitat has also been degraded and is subject to natural disasters. Further research and monitoring is needed to identify if siginifcant future population declines of this species trigger a higher threat status. The establishment and management of new protected areas is needed to provide this species with a refuge from habitat loss.
|Range Description:||The two subspecies of this boa both have restricted ranges separate from one another. E. monensis monensis is restricted to Isla Mona, west of Puerto Rico, which has an area of less than 50 km². E. monensis granti is found in the British and US Virgin Islands (areas 150 and 350 km² respectively) including Cayo Diablo, Tortola, Great Camanoe, Guana, Necker, and the eastern end of the island of St. Thomas (Mayer and Lazell 1988). This species is also found on the island of Puerto Rico itself, in the foothills of the Sierra Luquillo and Cayo Diablo, Isla Culebra (Tolson 1996). The snake ranges from sea level to 100 m above sea level.|
Native:Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species has always been rare, but can be observed at high densities on some small islands (Tolson and Garcia 1997).|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
Subtropical dry forest is the primary habitat of this species. It can inhabit woodlands at coastal level or on steep slopes. The population at Río Grande, Puerto Rico, is found in subtropical moist forest, which is considered a very unusual habitat for the species (Tolson et al. 2007.). This species has also taken to inhabiting islets and cays.
E. m. monensis (but not E. m. granti) is a major predator of the introduced black rat Rattus rattus (Tolson et al. 2007).
|Major Threat(s):||This boa's population has been severely reduced due to predation from introduced mammals, particularly feral cats, which are nocturnal (P.J. Tolson pers. comm.) and the black rat Rattus rattus. Indian Mongoose are also predating on this species, but are less of a problem because they are a diurnal species (P.J. Tolson pers. comm.). Goats and pigs are also affecting this species (Tolson and Henderson 1993). Inhabiting small islets has led the species to become vulnerable to storms and ocean inundations (Tolson and Nellis 1998). Habitat destruction due to logging, expanding agriculture, and urbanization is also a threat to this species.|
|Conservation Actions:||A species survival plan was created for this species in 1990. Captive breeding and reintroduction programmes were first set up and were successful, and so more recently, management of wild populations has been a major focus. Work to erradicate invasive species has also been undertaken. This species is also being studied but population estimates are still not available. Further research into the threats, population trends and habitat status of this species is needed, and population monitoring is recommended. The establishment and management of new protected areas is suggested to provide this species with a refuge from habitat loss.|
|Citation:||Mayer, G.C. & Tolson P.J. 2011. Epicrates monensis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 May 2013.|
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