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Aruba’s Boa Constrictor Crisis

Let me say up front that I’ve never seen a Boa Constrictor during any of my trips to Aruba, or any other snake, for that matter. Be that as it may, there is apparently an alarming increase in the number of Boa Constrictors on the island. There is some dispute as to how this non-native snake recently decided to make this island its new home. The first documented Boa specimens were found on Aruba in 1999.  There are two theories as to how they arrived. Some believe that a few irresponsible owners released their pets into the wild. Others believe that these snakes may have migrated from their native habitat of Venezuela by swimming  the approximate 17 miles to Aruba.

Whatever the truth is, there is no doubt that their numbers on the island are increasing. The problem is that the Boa eats birds, reptiles, and small mammals, and there is speculation that certain indigenous species are beginning to suffer. The bird population seems to be particularly at risk.

When I was on the island last week, the local english language papers were covering the situation closely. A study was commissioned last week, but scientists don’t have any easy answers when it comes to containing invasive species. For further information, you might want to visit this very informative site.

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  1. Betty Maday says:

    My husband and I just returned from Aruba December 11, 2010. Upon our arrival and a taxi ride to our hotel from the airport, we saw for the first time in our lives a dead boa hanging from a tree. It took a few fleeting moments (riding 35 mph) to realize what we were both viewing before we uttered a word to our taxi driver who later filled us in on the menacing snake. I have to say that the news put me on constant alert due to my fear of snakes. But, I can say that it didn’t entirely ruin our stay. We had a great time overall.

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