Distribution: Anguilla, St. Martin (= St. Maarten), St. Barthelemy, Guadeloupe, Netherlands Antilles
Type locality: St.-Martin and Anguilla.
Habitat and Ecology
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- Needs updating
- 1994Vulnerable(Groombridge 1994)
Leeward island racer
The Leeward Island Racer (Alsophis rijgersmaei) is a species of snake in the Colubridae family. It is found in Anguilla, Saint Barthélemy, and probably extinct on Sint Maarten. The Grass snake Alsophis rijersmai is the only snake in St. Maarten. It was thought to have been eradicated by the Mongoose (Westerman, 1955; Sajdak and Henderson, 1991 in Powell et al., 1992). However, in 1992 there was a report of 5 specimens that were captured at Mary's Fancy, and in the same year one was observed in the field (Powell et al., 1992). A snake was also seen after the hurricane in January 1996 during a field trip at Flagstaf (Ecovision/AIDEnvironment, 1996). Snakes of the genus Alsophis and Liophis prove to be more sensitive to introduced predators than other genera (Henderson, 1992). A. rijersmai is not rare in Mongoose-free Anguilla and St. Barths, and other species of the same genus are common in other Mongoose-free islands of the Lesser Antilles (even extremely abundant in some areas of Saba, Dominica and St. Eustatius), even though dogs and cats have probably been living on these islands for hundreds of years already. This snake is not venomous. It lives on insects, small amphibians, reptiles and warm-blooded animals. For its survival it is important to control the Mongoose, and convince people not to kill snakes. The animal's habitat should also be protected.
- Day, M. 1996. Alsophis rijersmai. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 28 July 2007.
- St Barth Nature .
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