Life-history comparisons between the native range and an invasive island population of a colubrid snake

Publication Date: 
2019
Place of Publication:
Location:
Call Number: 
[EL]
Notes: 
Available on line, Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge, pp. 282–288. Occasional Paper SSC no. 62. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
ISBN_ISSN: 
ISBN: 978-2-8317-1961-0
978-2-8317-1962-7
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.CH.2019.SSC-OP.62.en
Content Item Id: 
46907
Life-history comparisons between the native range and an invasive island population of a colubrid snake
Abstract: 

Invasive snakes can lead to the rapid extinction of endemic vertebrates on insular ecosystems, usually because snakes are an efficient and novel predator. There have been no successful (i.e. complete) eradications to date of invasive snakes on islands. In this study we assess a novel invasion on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. The invader, the California king snake (Lampropeltis californiae), arrived from California via several generations in the pet trade. King snakes are captive bred for various phenotypes, and first were detected in the wild on Gran Canaria in the 1990s. Because very little natural history data exist from within their native range, we focused on developing datasets from native habitats to compare with similar data for the introduced snakes in the Canary Islands. We found that most aspects of the snake’s life history have not changed since invasion, except that there appears to be a lower level of juvenile recruitment along with an increase in the length and body mass of adult snakes on Gran Canaria. We identified environmental parameters for when capture/trapping could be completed to reduce eff ort and maximize success. Additionally, we show different trap success on the various life stages of the snakes. Risk assessments could be required prior to permitting pet trade or allowing captive bred snakes into regions where they are not native.

GEFPAS Project: 
No
Record Id: 
82630