Keel-Scaled Boa Down Listed To Vulnerable Thanks To Conservation Efforts

November 28, 2018

Conservation efforts have helped the keel-scaled boa constrictor (Casarea dussumieri) snake native to Round Island, Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, to rebound and also helped it to be down listed from endangered to vulnerable thanks to conservation efforts by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Ministry of Agro Industry and the Mauritian National Parks and Conservation Service.

Keel scaled boa

Nik Cole

The elimination of rats, goats and rabbits helped the keel-scaled boa's population numbers to rebound.

The snake, which is known fort its keeled scales on its back, suffered declines in its native habitat due to the introduction of rats in the 1800s and later by goats and rabbits, which destroyed their habitat. It was estimated that the number of boas by 1976 was just 60 individuals. 

A captive population was established by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in the 1980s and in 1986, the invasive goats and rabbits were removed from the island. This led to an increase in the species by 2,600 percent by 2012, according to the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation's Facebook page.

The restoration of the snakes on Gunner’s Quoin began in 2007, and by 2012, with the elimination of the rats, the snakes were successfully reintroduced. The population of the species continues to grow on both Round Island and Gunner’s Quoin, both of which are Closed Island Nature Reserves.

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