The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

 ISSN 0268-0130

2021 Impact Factor from Clarivate for the Herpetological Journal is 1.194, an increase of 0.332 from 2020.

pdf 01. Predicting habitat use from opportunistic observations: a case study of the Virgin Islands tree boa (Epicrates granti)


Open Access

pp. 111-118
Authors: Harvey, Daniel S. & Platenberg, Renata J.

Abstract: Wildlife managers must often make conservation decisions based on uncertain and incomplete information. The challenge is to make the most robust predictions of species' requirements given these limitations. This is particularly the case when the species is rare and difficult to locate and baseline data are virtually non-existent. In the absence of other data, we used 143 opportunistic observations collected over 25 years and geographical information systems to predict the habitat of the endangered Virgin Islands tree boa (Epicrates granti) on St Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. We compared the habitat characteristics surrounding observations to the rest of the island using logistic habitat models with varying spatial resolution. Models formed with smaller-scale presence definitions were better able to discriminate areas of occurrence from the rest of the island but were more biased towards developed areas. To investigate habitat associations below the resolution of the models, we compared microhabitat near high-certainty observations with microhabitat at nearby, random locations. Snakes were disproportionately found in low elevation (<150 m) areas with non-stony soils. Vegetation near snakes consisted of woody plants 5–10 m tall with a high degree of vegetation continuity (e.g. mangroves, drought deciduous forests, thicket/scrub). This habitat occurs primarily along the southeastern coast of St Thomas. Our multi-scale approach allowed a more informed prediction of the snakes' requirements than any single-scale approach, particularly in light of the variable resolution of the observations.


Download Access:

The latest 8 issues can be downloaded when logged in with a Herpetological Journal subscription membership.

Individual articles can be purchased for download.

Older issues and occasional Open Access articles are available for public download


For further information and submission guidelines please see our Journal Instructions to Authors

pdfBHS Ethics Policy


Please note that as from Volume 31 Number 1 (January 2021) on, the Herpetological Journal will be available as an online publication only - the last print edition will be Volume 30 Number 4.   

Aligning with this change, it is now no longer possible to purchase a subscription that includes a print copy of the HJ.  All members who have existing HJ print subscriptions that remain active as at end June 2020 will receive the full four 2020 print editions.  New subscribers or renewals after this time will only have option to subscribe to the online only subscription package.  Subscription pricing has been amended to reflect the content changes.