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Alsophis rufiventris 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_onStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Dipsadidae

Scientific Name: Alsophis rufiventris
Species Authority: (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril,1854)
Common Name(s):
English Orange-bellied Racer, Red-bellied Racer, Saba Racer
Synonym(s):
Dromicus rufiventris Duméril, Bibron & Duméril,1854

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-07-21
Assessor(s): Daltry, J.C. & Powell, R.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hanson, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): NatureServe
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable on the basis of a plausible future threat mainly from mongoose introduction, which has led to this species being lost from the majority of its historical range and would rapidly drive this species (known from subpopulations on two small islands with a combined area, and so a maximum area of occupancy, of 34 km2), a risk that is increasing due to increasing traffic between these islands and larger nearby islands on which this invasive predator is established. There is a lesser potential threat from increases in cat populations as the human population expands, and feral cats are now established on one of the two islands, however at present the snake remains abundant with an apparently stable population.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in Saba and Sint Eustatius, both on St. Christopher Bank in the Lesser Antilles (Henderson and Powell 2009). It has been lost from St. Kitts and Nevis, formerly the largest portion of the range, following mongoose introduction in the 19th Century (Henderson and Powell 1991). General reptile surveys have failed to record this species, which is abundant within its surviving range, on these large islands, confirming its extinction from St. Kitts and Nevis (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). The species' remaining distribution encompasses a total area below 100 km2, where it is restricted to two subpopulations.
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Saba, Sint Eustatius)
Regionally extinct:
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is an abundant species on Saba and Sint Eustatius. On Saba encounter rates can exceed one individual recorded per 20 minutes in targeted surveys (Daltry 1997). No recent records exist from St. Kitts or Nevis, from which the species is presumed to have been extirpated and has not been recorded since 1900 despite surveys on both islands. The surviving population appears to be stable.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occupies a range of habitats, from dry to moist forests and gardens.
Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is some reported trade in this species, based records of exports passing through Antigua (J. Daltry pers. comm. 2015). There is unlikely to be high demand for this species, and these exports may have been destined for a private collector.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was extirpated historically from Nevis and St Kitts following the introduction of mongoose, apparently having been lost within three decades of their arrival on these islands. Pet cats threaten the remaining populations, and a feral cat population is established on Saba (R. Powell pers, comm. 2015). Most traffic destined for Saba and Sint. Eustatius passes through Sint. Maarten/St. Martin, and people increasingly travel from St. Kitts to St. Eustatius for tax purposes (R. Powell pers. comm. 2015). This elevates the risk of mongoose becoming established on these islands, which would likely result in this species rapidly being driven to extinction (R. Powell and J. Daltry pers. comm. 2015). A number of mongooses have been seized at St. Eustatius airport (Daltry 1997, von Stecklenberg pers. comm. to J. Daltry), and there are very few controls on imports to Saba (Daltry 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Quill and Northern Hills on St. Eustatius and the upper hills of Saba are protected. Monitoring is needed to ensure that mongoose do not become established on Sint Eustatius or Sabah.

Citation: Daltry, J.C. & Powell, R. 2016. Alsophis rufiventris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T942A71739314. . Downloaded on 21 January 2017.
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