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Boa constrictor

Common Name: 
Boa Constrictor
Taxonomic Key: 
Reptiles
Legacy ID: 
8 584
Species Name: 
constrictor
Publication Title: 

Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling improves occurrence and detection estimates of invasive Burmese Pythons

Authors: 
Hunter, M.E., S.J. Oyler-McCance, R.M. Dorazio, J.A. Fike, B.J. Smith, C.T. Hunter, R.N. Reed, and K.M. Hart
Publication Date: 
2015
Parent Publication Title: 
PLoS ONE
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2015/0021 FORT
States: 

Pub Abstract: 

Download the S2 Appendix: Environmental DNA occupancy model source code for R package (R) here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/asset?unique&id=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0121655.s002

Abstract

Environmental DNA (eDNA) methods are used to detect DNA that is shed into the aquatic environment by cryptic or low density species. Applied in eDNA studies, occupancy models can be used to estimate occurrence and detection probabilities and thereby account for imperfect detection. However, occupancy terminology has been applied inconsistently in eDNA studies, and many have calculated occurrence probabilities while not considering the effects of imperfect detection. Low detection of invasive giant constrictors using visual surveys and traps has hampered the estimation of occupancy and detection estimates needed for population management in southern Florida, USA. Giant constrictor snakes pose a threat to native species and the ecological restoration of the Florida Everglades. To assist with detection, we developed species-specific eDNA assays using quantitative PCR (qPCR) for the Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), Northern African python (P. sebae), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), and the green (Eunectes murinus) and yellow anaconda (E. notaeus). Burmese pythons, Northern African pythons, and boa constrictors are established and reproducing, while the green and yellow anaconda have the potential to become established. We validated the python and boa constrictor assays using laboratory trials and tested all species in 21 field locations distributed in eight southern Florida regions. Burmese python eDNA was detected in 37 of 63 field sampling events; however, the other species were not detected. Although eDNA was heterogeneously distributed in the environment, occupancy models were able to provide the first estimates of detection probabilities, which were greater than 91%. Burmese python eDNA was detected along the leading northern edge of the known population boundary. The development of informative detection tools and eDNA occupancy models can improve conservation efforts in southern Florida and support more extensive studies of invasive constrictors. Generic sampling design and terminology are proposed to standardize and clarify interpretations of eDNA-based occupancy models.

Publication Title: 

Genetic analysis of a novel invasion of Puerto Rico by an exotic constricting snake

Authors: 
Reynolds R.G., A.R. Puente-Rolon, R.N. Reed, and L.J. Revell
Publication Date: 
2013
Updated Date (text): 
2012-11-29
Parent Publication Title: 
Biological Invasions
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
IN PRESS/00056 FORT
Species: 
States: 

Pub Abstract: 
Publication Title: 

Boa constrictor (Boa constrictor)

Authors: 
Sorrell, G.G., M.S. Boback, R.N. Reed, S. Green, C.E. Montgomery, L.S. DeSouza and M. Chiaraviglio
Publication Date: 
2011
Updated Date (text): 
2013-05-03
Parent Publication Title: 
Herpetological Review
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2011/0064 FORT
Species: 

Pub Abstract: 

Boa constrictor is often referred to as a sit-and-wait or ambush forager that chooses locations to maximize the likelihood of prey encounters (Greene ]983. In Janzen [ed.], Costa Rica Natural History, pp. 380-382. Univ. Chicago Press, illinois). However, as more is learned about the natural history of snakes in general, the dichotomy between active versus ambush foraging is becoming blurred. Herein, we describe an instance of diurnal active foraging by a B. constrictor, illustrating that this species exhibits a range of foraging behaviors...

Publication Title: 

Giant constrictor snakes in Florida: A sizeable research challenge

Authors: 
Wilson, J., R. Reed, and G. Rodda
Publication Date: 
2009
Updated Date (text): 
2012-02-14
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2009/0098 FORT
States: 

Pub Abstract: 

Since the mid-1990s, several species of non-native, giant constrictor snakes, such as Burmese pythons and boa constrictors, have surfaced in localities throughout southern Florida. Several are known or suspected to be breeding and appear to be spreading northward. Increasingly, media and other reports of sightings or encounters with these animals have emphasized the dangers they could impose on native species, ecosystems, pets, and people. The USGS Fort Collins Science Center (FORT), government resource management agencies, the University of Florida, Davidson College (NC), and The Nature Conservancy have been collaborating on research and intervention methods to cope with an urgent need to understand and control these large, widespread predators.
FORT scientists are intimately familiar with snake invasion research and prevention. For more than 20 years, they have been involved with the invasive brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on the island of Guam...

Publication Title: 

Giant constrictors: Biological and management profiles and an establishment risk assessment for nine large species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor

Authors: 
Reed, R.N. and G.H. Rodda
Publication Date: 
2009
Updated Date (text): 
2012-01-13
Parent Publication Title: 
Publication Type: 
Archive number: 
2009/0095 FORT

Pub Abstract: 

Giant Constrictors: Biological and Management Profiles and an Establishment Risk Assessment for Nine Large Species of Pythons, Anacondas, and the Boa Constrictor, estimates the ecological risks associated with colonization of the United States by nine large constrictors. The nine include the world’s four largest snake species (Green Anaconda, Eunectes murinus; Indian or Burmese Python, Python molurus; Northern African Python, Python sebae; and Reticulated Python, Broghammerus reticulatus) , the Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor), and four species that are ecologically or visually similar to one of the above (Southern African Python, Python natalensis; Yellow Anaconda, Eunectes notaeus; DeSchauensee’s Anaconda, Eunectes deschauenseei; and Beni Anaconda, Eunectes beniensis). At present, the only probable pathway by which these species would become established in the United States is the pet trade. Although importation for the pet trade involves some risk that these animals could become established as exotic or invasive species, it does not guarantee such establishment. Federal regulators have the task of appraising the importation risks and balancing those risks against economic, social, and ecological benefits associated with the importation. The risk assessment quantifies only the ecological risks, recognizing that ecosystem processes are complex and only poorly understood. The risk assessment enumerates the types of economic impacts that may be experienced, but leaves quantification of economic costs to subsequent studies. Primary factors considered in judging the risk of establishment were: (1) history of establishment in other countries, (2) number of each species in commerce, (3) suitability of U.S. climates for each species, and (4) natural history traits, such as reproductive rate and dispersal ability, that influence the probability of establishment, spread, and impact. In addition, the risk assessment reviews all management tools for control of invasive giant constrictor populations. There is great uncertainty about many aspects of the risk assessment; the level of uncertainty is estimated separately for each risk component. Overall risk was judged to be high for five of the giant constrictors studied, and medium for the other four species. Because all nine species shared a large number of natural history traits that promote invasiveness or impede population control, none of the species was judged to be of low risk.