Round Island burrowing boa
|Round Island burrowing boa|
(F. Boie, 1827)
The Round Island burrowing boa (Bolyeria multocarinata) is an extinct species of snake in the family Bolyeriidae, in the monotypic genus Bolyeria, which was endemic to Mauritius. The species was last seen on Round Island in 1975. No subspecies are currently recognized.
B. multocarinata reached about 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in total length (including tail). Preserved specimens have been reported as having total lengths of 54–140 cm (1.77–4.59 ft). Its colour was described as light brown with blackish spots dorsally, and pink marbled with blackish ventrally. It had a pointed snout with a cylindrical body and head. Its general body form suggests that the Round Island burrowing boa had fossorial tendencies. This species' closest living relative is the Round Island boa (Casarea dussumieri).
The diet of B. multocarinata is unknown, but it is thought to have eaten lizards.
The Round Island burrowing boa had an extremely small range of only 1.5 square kilometres (0.58 sq mi). Its habitats were hardwood forests and palm savanna. In the past it was found in Mauritius on Gunner's Quoin, Flat Island, Round Island, and Ile de la Passe. It survived the longest on Round Island, where it was last recorded. The type locality given is "Port Jackson" (in error).
The species Bolyeria multocarinata is classified as Extinct (EX) on the IUCN Red List of threatened species (v2.3, 1994). It was already rare by 1949 and was last seen by conservationists in 1974. Reasons for its extinction are habitat loss caused by soil erosion due to overgrazing by goats and rabbits and heavily prosecuted by early settlers.
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