Fascinating and forgotten: the conservation status of the world's sea snakes

Elfes, Cristiane T., Livingstone, Suzanne R., Lane, Amanda, Lukoschek, Vimoksalehi, Sanders, Kate L., Courtney, Anthony J., Gatus, Joey L., Guinea, Michael, Lobo, Aaron S., Milton, David, Rasmussen, Arne R., Read, Mark, White, Mahree-Dee, Sanciangco, Jonnell, Alcala, Angel, Heatwole, Harold, Karns, Daryl R., Seminoff, Jeffery A., Voris, Harold K., Carpenter, Kent E., and Murphy, John C. (2013) Fascinating and forgotten: the conservation status of the world's sea snakes. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 8 (1). pp. 37-52.

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Abstract

An assessment of marine elapid snakes found 9% of marine elapids are threatened with extinction, and an additional 6% are Near Threatened. A large portion (34%) is Data Deficient. An analysis of distributions revealed the greatest species diversity is found in Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Three of the seven threatened species occur at Ashmore and Hibernia Reefs in the Timor Sea, while the remaining threatened taxa occur in the Philippines, Niue, and Solomon Islands. The majority of Data Deficient species are found in Southeast Asia. Threats to marine snakes include loss of coral reefs and coastal habitat, incidental bycatch in fisheries, as well as fisheries that target snakes for leather. The presence of two Critically Endangered and one Endangered species in the Timor Sea suggests the area is of particular conservation concern. More rigorous, long-term monitoring of populations is needed to evaluate the success of "conservation measures" for marine snake species, provide scientifically based guidance for determining harvest quotas, and to assess the populations of many Data Deficient species.

Item ID: 27821
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1931-7603
Keywords: biodiversity; coastal; endangered species; fishing bycatch; Hydrophiinae; Hydrophiini; Laticaudini; Red List; sea kraits; sea snake
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 06:27
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 80%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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