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 03. Spatial ecology of the Turks and Caicos Boa Chilabothrus c. chrysogaster Cope, 1871 (Serpentes: Boidae)

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33256/34.1.2234

pp. 22-34

Authors: R. Graham Reynolds, Molly E. Reger, Keeley J. Peek, Bonnie L. Raphael, Giuliano Colosimo, Aryeh H. Miller, Alyssa A. Vanerelli & Glenn P. Gerber

Abstract: Obtaining ecological and natural history data from cryptic squamates can be challenging, but is crucial to understanding species’ biology, particularly in the context of conservation. In the Greater Antilles, this challenge is especially apparent, particularly among the West Indian boas (genus Chilabothrus). Most species have had only minimal natural history study, with a few exceptions. The Turks and Caicos boa (C. chrysogaster) has been studied intensively for over 16 years on the small privately owned island of Big Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands. We conducted a multi-year radio-tracking study on the species to generate information relevant to spatial habitat use and movement that will inform conservation decision-making in the face of increasing development pressure. We tracked a total of 19 female snakes using surgically implanted transmitters, enabling us to obtain between 16 and 40 location observations per boa over the lifetime of each transmitter. We found that females have an average home range of 1.83 ha and a core space use area of 0.39 ha. We also estimated occurrence distributions, the use of space between specific time intervals, finding an average occurrence area of 0.76 ha. Several females overlapped in their spatial habitat use, with an average overlap proportion of 28 %. During this study we observed female boas using two novel habitats for the species (iron shore wrack and red mangrove). This study provides valuable information on the spatial ecology of an endangered boa and will serve to inform conservation work that is currently underway.

Keywords: conservation, movement, home range, snake, spatial ecology

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IMPORTANT NOTE - JUNE 2020

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.   

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