• Characterization of color pattern dimorphism in Turks and Caicos boas, Chilabothrus chrysogaster chrysogaster, on Big Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands

      Reynolds, R. Graham; Gerber, Glenn P.; Burgess, Joseph P.; Waters, George H.; Manco, B. Naqqi (2020)
      …Based on examination of 737 live wild specimens observed over 12 yr within a population of boas on Big Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands, we characterized the striped/spotted CPD and examined potential morphological and spatial correlates of this pattern dimorphism. Contrary to predictions based on studies of similar CPD in colubrid snakes, we found no association between striped or spotted morphs and sex, age, size, or potential morphological correlates….
    • Do invasive rodents impact endangered insular iguana populations?

      Hayes, William K.; Iverson, John B.; Knapp, Charles R.; Carter, Ronald L. (2012)
      Ample evidence confirms that large invasive mammalian competitors and predators can devastate endangered insular iguana populations. However, the impact of invasive rodents, particularly rats (Rattus rattus), has remained elusive....
    • Ecology and conservation of the Turks Island boa (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster: Squamata: Boidae) on Big Ambergris Cay

      Reynolds, R.G.; Gerber, Glenn P. (2012)
      The boid genus Epicrates contains 10 species in the West Indies, several of which are listed as threatened or endangered, whereas the status of the others remains unknown. Little is known about Turks Island Boas (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster), a subspecies of the Southern Bahamas Boa endemic to the Turks and Caicos Islands, and no published ecological studies exist for this subspecies. A long history of human habitation, greatly exacerbated by exponentially increasing development in the last several decades, appears to be threatening the remaining populations of these boas. However, a lack of basic ecological information is holding back conservation efforts. Here we report on the first multiyear ecological study of Turks Island Boas, focusing on an important population located on the small island of Big Ambergris Cay in the southeastern margin of the Caicos Bank. Encounter rates of up to 3.5 snakes per person-hour make this population especially easy to study. We captured 249 snakes, 11 of which were recaptures. We provide basic natural history information including size, color pattern, girth, body temperature, abundance, diet, activity, diurnal refuge selection, and population size. We also clarify the known distribution and discuss the conservation concerns of this species. This study fills a gap in our ecological knowledge of Bahamian boas and will provide important baseline data for the Big Ambergris Cay population of Turks Island Boas as this small island undergoes extensive development over the next several decades.
    • Twenty-nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in Cyclura carinata, the Turks and Caicos Iguana, a critically endangered island endemic

      Welch, M.E.; Long, G.J.; Berk, J.W.; Getz, A.H.; Gerber, Glenn P.; Wallace, L.E. (2011)
      Cyclura carinata, a critically endangered Caribbean rock iguana, now occupies less than 5% of its historic range. Remaining populations are genetically structured, but available tools are insufficient to identify taxonomic units. Ten polymorphic microsatellites isolated from C. carinata, and 19 loci developed for congeners are identified....
    • Unexpected shallow genetic divergence in Turks Island boas (Epicrates c. chrysogaster) reveals single evolutionarily significant unit for conservation

      Reynolds, R.G.; Gerber, Glenn P.; Fitzpatrick, B.M. (2011)
      ... The subspecies has likely been extirpated from several islands in its historic range, and all remaining populations are threatened with extirpation owing to habitat loss, introduced feral predators, malicious killing, and vehicle strikes. To assist conservation efforts, we undertook a genetic analysis of 53 individual E. c. chrysogaster, representing five island populations, with the goal of identifying existing population structure and genetic diversity. For each snake sampled, we sequenced one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes, resulting in 1591 bp of sequence, and screened nine microsatellite loci....
    • Using non-conspicuous metrics to examine selected impacts of disturbance on a long-lived reptile

      Knapp, C. R.; Perez-Heydrich, C (2012)
      …We used more subtle metrics to evaluate populations of endangered iguanas Iguana delicatissima inhabiting disturbed (i.e. low- to moderate-density villages and towns) and non-disturbed areas on the island of Dominica, West Indies. We investigated differences in iguana sex ratios, asymptotic size, characteristic growth rate, body condition, abundance, and densities between our defined disturbed and non-disturbed habitats….