Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut which make up the Îles de Saintes, part of Guadeloupe. Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut are very small islands with a total area of approximately 16 km².
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Continent: Caribbean
Distribution: Terre-de-Haut, Îles de Saintes  
Type locality: Terre d’en Haut, Isles des Saintes, near Guadeloupe, French West Indies.
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Source: The Reptile Database

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Physical Description

Type Information

Paratype for Alsophis antillensis sanctonum
Catalog Number: USNM 104497
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1914
Locality: No Further Locality Data, Terre de Haute, Isles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
  • Paratype: Barbour, T. 1915. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington. 28: 78.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs along mangrove edges, roadsides, gardens, wooded areas, preferentially in semi-deciduous forest with Pimenta racemosa, Pisonia subcordata, Hymenea courbaril, and Bursera simaruba. Although the species has been found in various habitats, it prefers areas less frequented by humans (Breuil 2002).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Hedges, S.B., Mayer, G.C. & Powell, R.

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.

Justification
Alsophis sanctonum has been assessed as Endangered as it has a very restricted range of only 16 km² on two islands, the habitat of both of which is being threatened by urbanization, particularly for tourist development. with an extent of occurrence of less than 100 km², and is threatened by continuing habitat loss due to urban expansion occurring within its range. An urban development project on one island is unlikely to have an impact on the population on the second island, rendering the population to occur in two locations. Climate change may constitute a future threat to this species which could significantly impact this species and the area of the islands on which it is distributed. Conservation measures and monitoring are required to ensure that the population of A. sanctonum does not decline any further.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by habitat loss due to urban development, particularly for the tourist industry. Its extremely small range and lack of migrational options means that the species is also susceptible to future climate change, specifically sea level rise, however the effects of climate change on species persistence are still very uncertain.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species currently has no conservation measures in place for it. Further research into the threats, trends, habitat status and abundance is suggested. The establishment and management of new protected areas could provide a safeguard for this species from habitat loss.
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Wikipedia

Terre-de-Haut racer

The Terre-de-Haut racer (Alsophis sanctonum) is a species of snake found in the Caribbean, on the Lesser Antilles. This species is endemic to Terre-de-Bas Island and Terre-de-Haut Island which make up the Îles des Saintes. Terre-de-Bas and Terre-de-Haut are very small islands with a total area of approximately 13 km2. Because of its presence only on this small area, it is a highly protected species.

It can reach nearly a meter in length. It feeds on lizards and small rodents. It rarely bites humans, but may release a foul-smelling (though harmless) cloacal secretion when disturbed.

Contents

Habitat [edit]

Alsophis sanctonum occurs along mangrove edges, roadsides, gardens, wooded areas, preferentially in semi-deciduous forest with Pimenta racemosa, Pisonia grandis, Guapinol, and Bursera simaruba. It is present in areas less frequented by humans.

Subspecies [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ Breuil, M., Day, M. & Knapp, C. (2010). "Alsophis sanctonum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 12 december 2011. 
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