Tree boa

Strange was the finding of a DEAD tree boa Corallus caninus (1,20 m LOA) in the rainforest near our field station in 2004. This snake was totally slender and skinny and had possibly fallen down from a high tree. We could not see any wounds and the snake is preserved in alcohol for a future detailed study to discover the reason of its death. Incoming rescued Corallus caninus snakes are also in bad alimentation status and full of scars and damages- we currently have 5 of those snakes in medical treatment and recovery, one juvenile, three semiadult males, and one bigger female. It seems, that due to the extense forest destruction in our concession those snakes may not find enough food. In 2004/5 we plan a field investigation (Diplom or thesis project) with radio tracking of freed adult tree boas to get an idea how they roam in the forest and which trees and prey they prefer. A Corallus caninus and C. hortulanus breeding and rescue program is included in our Management Plan of the Faunal Concession. Incoming snakes are treated with anti-parasite medicines, checked, marked, recovered if necessary and then freed in selected places of our Faunal Concession on certain home trees they prefer. Juvenile, really produced snakes from Intensive Management in cages in the field station might be purchased in the future with CITES papers from our rescue program. Usually, the several hundred campesinos living in the Concession instantly kill the tree boas, because they confound them with the poisonous Bothriopsis bilineata smaragdinus (Loromachaco), which undergoes a rescue and production program at the INIBICO lab. The ASPRAVEP Auditorium at km 34 will be the training centre for our campesinos to avoid such useless killings of CITES species by recognizing them perfectly and catching them safely and transporting them to the protected Park rainforest instead of killing them. The idea is that each of our Campesino ASPRAVEP members free several pairs of marked and sane tree boas on their home trees in their rainforest plots and so they might get on juveniles. But this strategy depends on the outcomes of the previous radio tracking research: we need to know the action radius of each snake and the different sexes and movements of pairs in the forest.

R.S. considers that the reason of the sudden death of Corallus caninus in captivity in Europe are not discovered parasites (Lung worms= Pentastomidae) and a dangerous OVERFEEDING of the snakes! A Corallus caninus in the forest does not find food every day or week! More details we try to join during the planned field investigation.  If there are students who want to make such investigations, they may contact us.