Charina bottae - (Blainville, 1835)
Northern Rubber Boa
Other English Common Names: Rubber Boa, northern rubber boa
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Charina bottae (Blainville, 1835) (TSN 174326)
French Common Names: boa caoutchouc
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.828493
Element Code: ARADA01010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Reptiles - Snakes
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Reptilia Squamata Boidae Charina
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Crother, B. I. (editor). 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37:1-84. Online with updates at: http://www.ssarherps.org/pages/comm_names/Index.php
Concept Reference Code: B08CRO01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Charina bottae
Taxonomic Comments: Nussbaum and Hoyer (1974) showed that subspecies utahensis is indistiguishable from subspecies bottae, and they regarded the concept "umbratica" as meaningless; Collins (1990) apparently agreed with this view and did not recognize any subspecies. In contrast, Erwin (1974) proposed that subspecies umbratica warrants species status; this suggestion did not gain the support of other herpetologists. Stewart (1977) recognized two subspecies (bottae and umbratica) and, pending further study, regarded populations from Mt. Pinos and the Tehachapi Mountains, California, as intergrades between these two subspecies. Stebbins (1985) continued to recognize three subspecies (bottae, utahensis, and umbratica). Rodriguez-Robles et al. (2001) used mtDNA data to examine phylogeography of C. bottae and concluded that "C. b. umbratica is a genetically cohesive, allopatric taxon that is morphologically diagnosable" [using a suite of traits] and that "it is an independent evolutionary unit that should be recognized as a distinct species, Charina umbratica." The authors acknowledged that a mixture of bottae and umbratica traits exists in populations in the Tehachapi Mountains and Mount Pinos, but they interpreted this as persistent ancestral polymorphisms. They also found no support for recognizing utahensis as a valid taxon. Crother et al. (2003) listed C. umbratica as a species whereas Stebbins (2003) mentioned the proposal but did not adopt the split. In this database we follow Crother (2008, 2012), Collins and Taggart (2009, and Stebbins and McGinnis (2012) and recognize Charina umbratica as a distinct species.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 03Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 29Oct1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread in western North America; secure due to widespread and locally common occurrence in many areas that still provide suitable habitat.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Oct1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4 (02Feb2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States California (SNR), Idaho (S5), Montana (S4), Nevada (S3S4), Oregon (S4), Utah (S4), Washington (S4), Wyoming (S2)
Canada British Columbia (S4)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: SC (12Jan2005)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Special Concern (29Apr2016)
Comments on COSEWIC: Although this species may be widespread in British Columbia its status is difficult to determine because the species is cryptic. However, searches indicate that this species is uncommon and patchily distributed. Because the species' abundance is poorly documented, it could qualify as Data Deficient, but the species' life history traits - low reproductive rate, delayed age at maturity and extended longevity, make it sensitive to human activity. Therefore, this species merits the current status until further investigation shows that it is at higher risk or is secure.

Designated Special Concern in May 2003. Status re-examined and confirmed in April 2016.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Protection Status (CITES): Appendix II

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The range extends from southern British Columbia south to west-central California (probably southward to San Luis Obispo County), central Nevada, and southern Utah, from the Pacific coast east to north-central Wyoming and western Montana, from near sea level to about 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) (Stewart 1977, Stebbins 2003). Distribution is spotty in many areas, particularly at the southern and eastern fringes of the range. Disjunct Charina populations in the mountains of southern California are now recognized as a distinct species, C. umbratica (Rodriguez-Robles et al. 2001, Crother 2008, Stebbins and McGinnis 2012), though the species occurring in the mountains (mostly in Kern County) north of the San Bernardino Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains is uncertain ((here they are provisionally included in C. bottae).

Area of Occupancy:  
Area of Occupancy Comments: Area of occupancy is unknown but very large.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by many occurrences or subpopulations. For example, Stewart (1977) mapped over 200 collection sites rangewide.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but surely exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000. This snake is secretive, but under appropriate temperature and moisture conditions it becomes evident that it is locally quite common (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995).

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The species is not threatened in most of the range.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Overall, the extent of occurrence, area of occupnacy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) The range extends from southern British Columbia south to west-central California (probably southward to San Luis Obispo County), central Nevada, and southern Utah, from the Pacific coast east to north-central Wyoming and western Montana, from near sea level to about 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) (Stewart 1977, Stebbins 2003). Distribution is spotty in many areas, particularly at the southern and eastern fringes of the range. Disjunct Charina populations in the mountains of southern California are now recognized as a distinct species, C. umbratica (Rodriguez-Robles et al. 2001, Crother 2008, Stebbins and McGinnis 2012), though the species occurring in the mountains (mostly in Kern County) north of the San Bernardino Mountains and San Jacinto Mountains is uncertain ((here they are provisionally included in C. bottae).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada BC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Adams (16003), Blaine (16013), Bonner (16017)*, Bonneville (16019), Camas (16025), Cassia (16031), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043)*, Idaho (16049), Kootenai (16055), Lewis (16061), Nez Perce (16069), Twin Falls (16083)
NV Carson City (32510), Douglas (32005)*, Elko (32007), Humboldt (32013), Lander (32015), Lyon (32019), Nye (32023), Washoe (32031)
UT Box Elder (49003), Cache (49005), Carbon (49007), Davis (49011), Duchesne (49013), Juab (49023), Morgan (49029), Rich (49033)*, Salt Lake (49035), Sanpete (49039), Summit (49043), Uintah (49047)*, Utah (49049), Wasatch (49051), Weber (49057)
WY Hot Springs (56017), Lincoln (56023), Sublette (56035), Teton (56039)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Lower Wind (10080005)+
14 New Fork (14040102)+, Ashley-Brush (14060002)+*, Duchesne (14060003)+, Strawberry (14060004)+, Price (14060007)+
16 Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+*, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Little Bear-Logan (16010203)+, Lower Bear-Malad (16010204)+*, Upper Weber (16020101)+, Lower Weber (16020102)+, Utah Lake (16020201)+, Spanish Fork (16020202)+, Provo (16020203)+, Jordan (16020204)+, Northern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020308)+, San Pitch (16030004)+, Upper Humboldt (16040101)+, North Fork Humboldt (16040102)+, South Fork Humboldt (16040103)+, Reese (16040107)+, Little Humboldt (16040109)+, Upper Quinn (16040201)+, Smoke Creek Desert (16040203)+, Lake Tahoe (16050101)+*, Truckee (16050102)+, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)+*, Upper Carson (16050201)+, Middle Carson (16050202)+, Northern Big Smoky Valley (16060004)+, Long-Ruby Valleys (16060007)+
17 Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+*, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Palisades (17040104)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+*, Raft (17040210)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Salmon Falls (17040213)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, North and Middle Forks Boise (17050111)+, South Fork Boise (17050113)+, Brownlee Reservoir (17050201)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, Little Salmon (17060210)+*, Lochsa (17060303)+, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Guano (17120008)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
Basic Description: A stout-bodied, rubbery-looking snake.
General Description: A smooth, shiny, stout-bodied snake that looks and feels like rubber; tail is short, blunt, and shaped somewhat like the head; dorsal scales are small; dorsum of adult is plain brown to olive green, venter is cream to yellow, sometimes with dark flecks or brown, orange, or black mottling; young are pinkish to tan above, light yellow to pink below; top of head is covered with large symmetrical plates; pupil is vertically oval; males and some females have a spur on each side in the anal region; total length of adults usually is 35-83 cm (Stebbins 1985).
Reproduction Comments: Live-bearing; 2-8 young are born August-November.
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes woodlands, forest clearings, patchy chaparral, meadows, and grassy savannas, generally not far from water; also riparian zones in arid canyons and sagebrush in some areas (Nussbaum et al. 1983, Brown et al. 1995, St. John 2002, Stebbins 2003). Generally this snake is found in or under rotting logs or stumps, under rocks or in crevices, or under the bark of dead fallen trees.
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore
Food Comments: Diet includes mice, shrews, lizards, lizard eggs, snakes, and small birds. This snake generally kills its prey by constriction prior to ingestion.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Activity occurs mostly at night or dusk but also commonly occurs in daytime during mild cloudy weather. Most activity occurs from March to November.
Length: 84 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway or highway with obstructions such that snakes rarely if ever cross successfully; major river, lake, pond, or deep marsh; densely urbanized area dominated by buildings and pavement.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distances are based on information for medium and large colubrid snakes (see that Specs Group).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Date: 11May2001
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 03Apr2016
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Dec2011
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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