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Coluber constrictor

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor
Species Authority: Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Racer, Racer
Synonym(s):
Coluber mormon Baird & Girard, 1852
Taxonomic Notes: Western populations have been proposed to constitute a distinct species, Coluber mormon (Fitch et al. 1981), but this distinction has been demonstrated to be invalid (Corn and Bury 1986; see also Greene 1984).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-05-07
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A., Acevedo, M., Ariano-Sánchez, D. & Johnson, J.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
History:
2007 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs through most of the United States, and ranges into southern Canada and northern and eastern Mexico, discontinuously southward to Guatemala and Belize. It extends from southern British Columbia, southern Saskatchewan, Wisconsin, Michigan, southern Ontario, New York, and southern Maine southward in the United States to southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida, and southward through northeastern, central, and southern Mexico to Guatemala and Belize (Wilson 1978, Campbell 1998, Lee 2000, Stafford and Meyer 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Stebbins 2003). Elevational range extends from sea level to about 2,550 meters (8,300 feet). A record for Durango, Mexico, evidently is erroneous (Webb 2001).
Countries:
Native:
Belize; Canada; Guatemala; Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences or subpopulations (at least several hundred). The total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 1,000,000. This snake is common in most of its very large range in the United States but appears to be rare at the southern extent of the range in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize (Campbell 1998, Lee 2000). The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are very large and probably relatively stable. The southern subpopulations in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize are represented by a few specimens.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitats encompass a wide range of lowland and montane areas, including deserts, prairies, sandhills, shrublands, woodlands, forests, canyons, streamsides, and semi-agricultural areas. These snakes are absent from the driest deserts and highest mountains (subalpine zones and higher). They commonly climb shrubs and small trees. When inactive, they hide underground, in crevices, or under surface cover. Adults often hibernate communally, sometimes partly submerged in water. Eggs are laid in underground tunnels or burrows, rotting stumps, sawdust piles, or under rocks. Oviposition sites may be up to at least several hundred meters from the usual home range (Brown and Parker 1976, Iverson et al. 1995).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized or traded to any significant degree.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified. Historically, some populations undoubtedly experienced significant declines, particularly in major agricultural regions of intensive cultivation. Remaining populations are extensive and not threatened in most areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action, other than clarification of the taxonomic status of various subpopulations. Many occurrences are in national parks and other protected areas.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A., Acevedo, M., Ariano-Sánchez, D. & Johnson, J. 2013. Coluber constrictor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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