The first threatened species to be featured on the blog is the Round island boa also known as the Round island keel-scaled boa (Casarea dussumerii). It is the only member in its genus and one of the rarest snakes in the world. Endemic to Mauritius (Indian Ocean), it used to occur on the main island and some offshore islets. However past habitat loss and introduction of invasive species have restricted its population to a single 215 ha islet, Round Island, found off the northern coast.
Round Island, the only place where the boa is found (and also a pandora’s box for herpetologists)
Active restoration work and the absence of predatory mammals on the islet has contributed to the recovery of the Round island reptile community with increase in prey availability for the boa which feeds mostly (93 % of its diet) on smaller reptiles (geckos and skinks). The most recent estimate (2012) of the wild population states the presence of 891 (±264)adults on Round Island.
Adults can grow up to 150cm and are grey, greyish-brown or dark brown in color
The juveniles are more exuberant than the adults and are bright orange in color
Having played the serious scientific note, I’ll allow myself to conclude by saying that they are the cutest, most gentle and lovely snake (And yes! I know I am not objective and very biased as I have worked with them)
TBA alumni do also get in touch and send us pictures of threatened animals/plants that you have or are still working with to be featured on the blog.