Conservation Status of Bahamas Boas

Presented by R. Graham Reynolds

R. Graham Reynolds

The Bahamas Archipelago is currently known to support four of the 12 recognized species of West Indian boas (genus Chilabothrus). These relatively large terrestrial vertebrate predators are crucial components of Bahamian Island ecosystems, yet little data exist to inform conservation policy and management for these endemic species. Importantly, one species was just discovered in 2015, indicating that biodiversity surveys still have the potential to yield previously unknown large endemic vertebrates in the archipelago. This new species was judged to be Critically Endangered based on IUCN Criteria. I will discuss the current state of our knowledge on Bahamas Boa biology, distribution, natural history, and conservation concerns. I will also discuss the results from a 2015 IUCN Red List Assessment Workshop which evaluated the conservation status of Bahamian Boas. Our intention is to augment protective measures for these species through continued focused study, as well as recommend policy and management guidelines for reptile conservation in the region.

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