2016 update: Future projects (pending funding) are being considered now to perform critical research on these boas and their habitats.  Among the considerations are performing the research on Ragged Island.

Ricky Escobar has proposed an extensive ongoing study of the Bimini Boa. 

I propose to complete a series of studies to acquire ecological information about the Bimini Boa with the hope of aiding sound management decisions in the future. I began my research efforts in the Spring of 2010 by capturing and radio tracking boas to determine movements, home ranges and habitat usage. Currently we have 4 snakes being tracked on Bimini. Two on South and two on East. We have completed one year of telemetry and will probably do another year using different snakes. We are almost done collecting the DNA samples for the phylogeny study.

Phase One Completed - Fall 2009 

Our mission in Phase I was basically one of reconnaissance determining the scope, needs and feasibility of this project.  

The projected expenses for the second phase of the project, including lodging and equipment is estimated at 10-12,000 dollars.  Roughly 4 weeks of telemetry work will be necessary to establish quality data on the boas. 

During Phase One we established two research sights on North and South Bimini. The North Bimini sight is in thick forest overgrown with Australian pine.  This places it in close proximity to the Bimini Nature trail and Bimini Biological Field station. 

By contrast the South Bimini sight is just the opposite - small brush, sea grape and red mangrove - a very open habitat lacking any people and represents a much more natural, undisturbed/unaltered ecosystem. 

The snakes are generally feeding on small birds and doves (a traditional diet) while on the south island they have added rodents to their diet which come along with housing and development.  All juveniles feed primarily on geckos and anoles. 

One boa was processed during Phase 1 taking measurements and using transponder data to identify the animal.  Accurate location data was recorded using GPS.  

Phase one was executed for $1800 covering the expenses of 2 individuals and equipment for two weeks.





Bimini Boa Research Goals 
Phase One and Two 

The destruction of the native mangrove forests and sea grass in the name of development has catastrophic potential for the future of many species of animals, sharks, shell fish, birds, reptiles etc... that rely on these forests (both above and below the water) for their survival and very existence.  A recent short film documenting the threats to the sawfish native to the waters off of Bimini does an excellent job of summing up the impacts and threats to this ecosystem - we encourage you to watch it for yourself. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOptwatDWQ0

Before you can help a species like the Bimini Boa you must first do your best to understand them; know their habitat, range, population numbers, sensitivities, adaptability, and susceptibilities.  

Only through sound research can you then give such a species an effective voice in the face of progress.  One that will speak confidently, eloquently, and accurately to the impacts further development will have on their species survival.  

Here in these photos you can see research that is already underway in the hopes of answering these questions and giving the Bimini Boa as well as other species in this sensitive island ecosystem a much needed voice of their own.  Animals are being counted, populations estimated, individuals are weighed, measured and fitted with transponders to better understand their range and territories.  

Snakes in general present a unique challenge to researchers in that they do not feed daily like most other animals and reptiles. A snake can go weeks and in some cases months in-between feedings making it very difficult to conduct a census and making radio telemetry studies on those that you do find all that much more important.  

With your help supporting the work of Loma Linda University and Global Insular Conservation Society. We can preserve this species for many generations! 





























Measuring, weighing and using telemetry equipment on individual animals.