Rubber Boa


Last COSEWIC designation: May 2003
SARA risk category: Special Concern

Description: The Rubber Boa, Charina bottae, is a small (75 cm) member of the family Boidae and the only boid in Canada. The Rubber Boa is easily distinguished from other Canadian snake species by its brownish colouration, rubbery appearance (due to its small, smooth scales), and short, blunt tail that resembles a second head.

Habitat: Rubber Boas occupy a wide variety of habitats including riparian, grassland, montane forest and, occasionally, vacant city lots. The major habitat requirements of the Rubber Boa are rocky outcrops and an abundance of coarse woody debris which the snakes use for protective cover and to aid in thermoregulation.

Threats: Where populations do exist in Canada, the population growth rate may be low due to the combination of late maturation and small litter size and, therefore, slow to respond to disturbance. Forestry, agriculture and urban development all reduce the quality and amount of habitat available to the Rubber Boa.