It was learned thanks to a genetic analysis. Biologists discovered a new species of boa in Bolivia. It inhabits the Amazonian departments of Beni and Pando. It lives threatened by the growth of urban sprawl and logging of the region’s forests.
It is the Eunectes beniensis. It is added to the catalog as one of four species of South American constrictor snakes. Biologist Vincent Vos explains the differences with other nearby species. The Eunectes notaeus and the E. deschauenseei are smaller, measuring up to four meters.
Dangers to the species
The largest, the E. murinusreaches up to 10 meters. This one is called ‘the 888’. Its skin is like rings with two lines that form about eight. The beniensis does not have that. Instead of rings it has black round spots on the sides. In addition, it has 3 lines on the head.
It is also known that this species is now endangered. Logging of forests endangers the survival of these huge reptiles. They are also often decimated by villagers. This is due to snakes attacking dogs, chickens or small animals in houses.
There is something more worrying, which is deforestation. In the south of Beni, rice cultivation is being promoted. Thus, swamps, lagoons and lakes are drying up. And the habitat of the new boa species in Bolivia is narrowing.
The biologist recommends “opting for a production system that does not dry up streams or cut down forests. And ensure that animals have a place to live in protected areas. Having water is important for them, but also for humans. If we dry up the water in streams, everyone suffers,” he said.
This particular snake only lives in the Bolivian departments of Beni and Pando. The genetic studies were led by David Tarknishvili, of Ilia State University in Georgia. And the results were recently published in the journal Amphibia-Reptilia.