Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Bothriechis aurifer
Species Authority: (Salvin, 1860)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-blotched Palm Pit Viper
Thamnocenchris aurifer Salvin, 1860

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2012-05-07
Assessor(s): Campbell, J.A. & Muñoz-Alonso, A.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Listed as Vulnerable because the extent of occurrence is less than 20,000 km², the range is severely fragmented, and because there is ongoing severe habitat destruction, combined with extensive collection for the pet trade.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2007 Vulnerable (VU)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a disjunct distribution in highland regions: moderate and intermediate elevations of extreme west-central Chiapas, Mexico (vicinity of Lagunas de Montebello, higher tributaries of the Río Lacantum); and the Atlantic drainages of the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Sierra de Chuacús, and Sierra de las Minas in Guatemala. The elevational range is generally between 1,200 and 2,300 meters, but a few specimens have been reported from lower elevations on the north face of the Sierra de las Minas.
Countries occurrence:
Guatemala; Mexico
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is probably declining substantially due to habitat destruction and overcollecting. It has been recorded as recently as 2003 in Guatemala.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is most abundant in lower montane cloud forest, but it enters subtropical wet forest (pine-oak forest) along mesic ravines. It requires old growth forest although occasionally it is found in small patches of secondary growth and coffee plantations bordering more intact forest.
Systems: Terrestrial
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is utilized in the pet trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats include destruction of cloud forest habitat for agriculture (coffee and ornamental fern plantations) and collecting for the international pet trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is protected by Mexican law under the category A (Threatened). It occurs in the Biotopo Mario Dary Rivera protected area and in a protected area in the Sierra de las Minas. Conservation needs include habitat protection, protection from excessive harvest, and better information on distribution, abundance, population trend, and harvest levels.

Citation: Campbell, J.A. & Muñoz-Alonso, A. 2014. Bothriechis aurifer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T64302A3134725. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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