Chilabothrus inornatus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Boidae

Scientific Name: Chilabothrus inornatus
Species Authority: (Reinhardt, 1843)
Common Name(s):
English Puerto Rican Boa, Yellow Tree Boa
French Boa de Porto Rico, Boa sobre
Spanish Boa de Puerto Rico
Boa inornata Reinhardt, 1843
Boella tenella Smith & Chiszar, 1992
Chilabothrus inornatus (Reinhardt, 1843)
Epicrates inornatus (Reinhardt, 1843)
Piesigaster boettgeri Seone, 1881

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Mayer, G.C. & Tolson P.J.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
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.
Chilabothrus inornatus has been assessed as Least Concern due to its large distribution and ability to inhabit altered environments. Population numbers have declined in the past but this boa is still abundant in protected and inaccessible areas. Further research and monitoring of this species is needed to identify if significant future declines trigger a higher threat category.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Endangered (E)
1986 Endangered (E)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is widely distributed in Puerto Rico, and is especially abundant in the northern karst region (Acevedo-Torres et al. 2005). This species has an elevational range of 0 to 480 m above sea level.
Countries occurrence:
Puerto Rico
Upper elevation limit (metres): 480
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is described as common in undisturbed karst areas of northwestern Puerto Rico (Tolson and Henderson 1993). Much of the boa's apparent rarity undoubtedly relates to observers' difficulties in visually detecting the species in forests (Wunderle et al. 2004), and this boa is not as rare as previously thought (Puente-Rolon and Bird-Pico 2004). Although the species is probably less abundant than it was in pre-Columbian times, recent accounts indicate that it is still widespread on Puerto Rico, and suggest that it may be common in some locations (Reagan 1984).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in a variety of habitats. It occurs in rainforests, karst landscape, caves, and even altered environments such as plantations and urban areas.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Fat is extracted from this species because their oil is used in traditional medicine. Reports on this suggest both mutilation and poaching takes place.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has undoubtedly been threatened in the past and declined in numbers. Most of Puerto Rico has now been deforested except for inaccessible karst areas, which this species prefers. It is predated on by introduced mongooses, and killed by humans for a number of reasons, including extracting their fatty oils. However, this species is still abundant in its natural and altered habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Parts of this species' distribution range coincide with protected areas. This species is legally protected by the US Endangered Species Act of 1973. Research into the threats, population numbers and trends, and habitat status of this species is needed, and population monitoring is recommended.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.18. Wetlands (inland) - Karst and Other Subterranean Hydrological Systems (inland)
suitability: Suitable  
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability: Suitable  
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.2. Marine Coastal/supratidal - Coastal Caves/Karst
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Unknown ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Herpestes auropunctatus)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Unknown ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Acevedo-Torres, M.A, Rios-Lopez, N., Ruiz-Jaen, M.D.C. 2005. Epicrates inornatus: Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 36(2): 195.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Mayer, G.C. 2007. pers. comm Red List Assessment.

Puente-Rolon, A.R. and Bird-Pico, F.J. 2004. Foraging Behavior, Home Range, Movements and Activity Patternsof Epicrates inornatus (Boidae) at Mata de Plátano Reservein Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 40(3): 343-352.

Reagan, D.P. 1984. Ecology of the Puerto Rican Boa (Epicrates inornatus) in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 20(3/4): 119-129.

Tolson, P.J. 2007. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Tolson, P.J. and Henderson, R.W. 1993. The Natural History of West Indian Boas. R & A Publishing Limited, Taunton.

Wiley, J.W. 2003. Habitat Association, Size, Stomach Contents, and Reproductive Condition of Puerto Rican Boas (Epicrates inornatus). Caribbean Journal of Science 39(2): 189-194.

Wunderle Jr., J.M., Mercado, J.E., Parresol, B. and Terranova, E. 2004. Spatial Ecology of Puerto Rican Boas (Epicrates inornatus) in a Hurricane Impacted Forest. Biotropica 36(4): 555-571.

Citation: Mayer, G.C. & Tolson P.J. 2010. Chilabothrus inornatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T7821A12853042. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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