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Tantilla oolitica

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Tantilla oolitica
Species Authority: Telford, 1966
Common Name(s):
English Rim Rock Crowned Snake
Taxonomic Notes: Tantilla oolitica is morphologically similar to Tantilla coronata of northern Florida; it is geographically separated from coronata by the less similar T. relicta. Some have questioned whether T. oolitica warrants recognition as a distinct species, but it has been consistently treated as such in recent publications.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,iv,v) 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 Endangered because the extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 5,000 km², the distribution is severely fragmented, and there is likely to be a continuing decline in area of occupancy, area/extent/quality of habitat, number of locations, and number of mature individuals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to southern Florida in the United States. Its range includes eastern Dade County and Monroe County, Florida, including the Eastern Rock Rim of Miami oolite and the Florida Keys (including at least Key Largo, Upper Matecumbe Key, Grassy Key, and Vaca Key); a Tantilla specimen from Key West apparently is this species, but occurrence in the Lower Keys needs to be confirmed (Campbell and Moler 1992, Ernst and Ernst 2003). Most of the range in Dade County has been lost.
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a small number of known occurrences (subpopulations) (Telford 1980, Campbell and Moler 1992). The adult population size is unknown but presumably is at least a few thousand (Tantilla usually are more numerous than available records indicate). However, very few individuals of this species have ever been found. Its area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size have probably declined significantly compared to the historical situation. Currently, the remaining populations are declining or deteriorating in quality as very rapid loss of habitat continues.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Known habitats include sandy or rocky soils in slash pine flatwoods, tropical hardwood hammocks, vacant lots, and pastures with shrubby growth and scattered slash pine (Campbell and Moler 1992). This fossorial snake may be encountered under fallen palmetto leaves, boards, logs, rocks, or other debris.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The biggest threat is habitat loss and fragmentation from development (Lazell 1989, Campbell and Moler 1992). Rapid and intense habitat modification has occurred (and continues) within the Miami-Key Largo area. Apparently this species can withstand limited human incursion and can survive in somewhat altered habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Protected sites on upper Key Largo include Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo Hammocks, and Port Bougainville. This snake is known also from Arch Creek Park. The current status and exact location of all occurrences should be determined so that they can be protected by some means. The primary protection need is the preservation of suitable habitat; this snake is able to coexist with some development if areas of native vegetation are left intact or at least if is a significant area is left in open space, parks, and green belts that are not subject to soil compaction or an altered water table (Campbell and Moler 1992).

Bibliography [top]

Bartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Ernst, C.H. and Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of Eastern North America. George Mason University Press, Fairfax, Virginia. 282 pp.

Ernst, C.H. and Ernst, E.M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Lazell Jr., J.D. 1989. Wildlife of the Florida Keys: a Natural History. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Tennant, A. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of Florida. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xiii + 257 pp.


Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Tantilla oolitica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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