Snake in Tortola

Old May 19th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Snake in Tortola

My wife and I just returned from a day trip to Tortola. We stopped at a seaside restaurant near Apple Bay to eat lunch. I was very surprised to see a small (24 inch) snake in the parking area. The snake was brown with a viper like head. I know this is not much of a description, but does anyone have enough of a backgound with this area to take an educated guess as to what type of snake might be indigenous to Tortola?
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Old May 19th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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I did not know that Tortola has snakes..
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:28 AM
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owa
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I don't know what kind of snake it was, but I saw two while at Biras on VG. I first saw a dead one on the road while riding my bike. I told my husband, and he said "no, no, there aren't any snakes here". Little did he know!! Later that day I was surprised to almost step on one while walking around our room. They move fast. The staff later confirmed that, yes, there are snakes on the island.
 
Old May 20th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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It's great news that snakes are seen. The tree boa's are on the endangered species list, but hopefully will make a comeback on Tortola and other of the US and BVI's. On St. Thomas, it's found only on the extreme eastern edge of the island. It hides during the day and hunts at night, eating lizards asleep in the trees. It also feeds on rats. The introduction of the mongoose and house cats gone feral have all but decimated the tree boa. But, the government has tried to reestablish them by raising and releasing them. They are found on uninhabited cays around the US and British Virgina Islands, being free from predation. They reintroduced the boa on one island and the population increased to 500 boa's, from zero. Last estimates are that the populations are increasing dramatically. The government considers them beneficial: non-poisonous and eats rats and small rodents. They do have a viper-like shaped head and are quite beautiful. Robert59
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Old May 20th, 2007, 03:57 PM
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I saw a huge tree boa in the north of Tobago several years ago. It was about 6-feet long. However, it was dead on the road.
As good as they are with rats and such, I do believe they also eat at least one creature that people root for: birds.
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Old May 20th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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We, too, encountered snakes at Biras Creek on Virgin Gorda, but they were under two feet long, and frightened of us!
 
Old May 29th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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there are two snakes in the BVI, the commonest is a grass Snake, grows up to about 4 feet, and is rather similar to a gray racer in the Southern USA. Neither are Poisonous, but the latter when cornered will bite. the other is a very small Boa usually found on Great Camanoe,grows to about 3 feet, possibly also on Tortola up towards Sage Mountain away from humanity. I have only seen a Boa once on Great Camanoe, but the Grass Snakes very often. Even on the little island of Marina Cay there are plenty.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 05:13 AM
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Ooohh...cool, Robert59. I'm probably one of the few people who don't mind snakes especially non-poisonous variety. Boas are especially neat in my book. Do you think they could bring some over to St. John? I'd put some around my house because I'd rather have that than rodents! Darn iguanas are just useless regarding the rodents.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 06:18 AM
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Tuxedocat; I don't know if the boa reintroduction program includes St. John; it may very well, though. Yes, they do keep the rat population in check. What rat trap can crawl down a rat hole and eat the adults and entire litter? For those who have a learned fear of beautiful, but harmless snakes like the tree boa, try visiting a nature center in the BVI or American VI's, and hold one. They're as smooth as satin, not slimey, and can be quite colorful. Robert59
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Old May 31st, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Well, in light of everyone else's post, this probably won't be popular, but ... I hate to hear this. I am terribly afraid of snakes. Because I had always heard that due to the mongoose, there weren't snakes on many Caribbean islands, I've been able to hike to remote beaches without fear. Now, I don't know that I'll be able to do that anymore. My husband and I will be in the BVI in August - definitely no hiking for me this time. Ugh.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 12:37 PM
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Oh, yeah... the mongoose, or is it mongeese. Not much use either on STJ other than being kind of cute if you like those old Kipling stories, but I understand they have multiplied quite a bit and can be a bit of a pest. I'm not sure if they've been completely effective either. Anyway, apparently, they're useless vis-a-vis rats/mice.
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