The Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) is a short and stout snake with a blunt, rounded tail that resembles the head and is used as a distraction during predator evasion. The dorsal surface of adults is uniformly brown, sometimes tinged with grey, yellow, or green and the underbelly is yellow, whereas juveniles are semi- transparent and very pale with no distinct margin between the dorsal and ventral surfaces. The Northern Rubber Boa is crepuscular and nocturnal and spends much of the time under cover and is thus infrequently found except at dens in spring or by actively searching under cover objects in the summer. It occurs across most of southern British Columbia (B.C.) except Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, but has most commonly been observed in the Thompson/Okanagan and southern Columbia River basin (west Kootenays) watersheds.
The Northern Rubber Boa was designated as Special Concern in 2003 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and is Special Concern in Canada on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). In B.C., the Northern Rubber Boa is ranked S4 (apparently secure) by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre and is on the provincial Yellow list (secure). The B.C. Conservation Framework ranks the Northern Rubber Boa as a priority 1 under goal 2 (prevent species and ecosystems from becoming at risk). It is protected from capture and killing, under the B.C. Wildlife Act.
The Northern Rubber Boa requires specific habitats for thermoregulation and overwintering, although the use of the different habitats in B.C. is not well known.
The overall threat impact is low, with the greatest threats to the species being agriculture (notably vineyards) and roads.
The management goal for the Northern Rubber Boa is to maintain the current area of occupancy and distribution of the Northern Rubber Boa within B.C.
The management objectives are to:
1.protect suitable habitat across the range of the Northern Rubber Boa ;
2.mitigate threat impacts to local populations where necessary;
3.address current knowledge gaps in the range distribution of the Northern Rubber Boa;
4.assess population size at a variety of locations and habitat across the range to refine the provincial population estimate; and
5.address knowledge gaps in habitat requirements including thermoregulation, refuge, foraging, and overwintering habitats.
Ministry of Environment. 2015. Management Plan for the Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae) in British Columbia. Province of B.C.; Ministry of Environment. Management Plan (Species at risk)
Topic: Recovery Planning
Scientific Name: Charina bottae
English Name: Rubber Boa
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