Date Published: February 2012
The Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) is a large non-venomous snake common to a wide range of habitats in Central and South America. The species is not listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and is one of the most common reptiles in the global pet trade.
A previous Australian risk assessment concluded that the Boa Constrictor represents an extreme threat to Australia.
The Boa Constrictor is considered a pest species in the United States. Feral populations have established outside its native range, and its introduction has contributed to the decline of native species. Boa Constrictors are also capable of inflicting serious injury to people, either by wrapping tightly around the body, or by biting.
This risk assessment concludes that there is a moderate likelihood of this species establishing in Tasmania. Anticipated impacts include predation on a range of birds, mammals and reptiles, as well as competition with native predators. A number of species that are listed under the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 would potentially be at risk from the establishment of the Boa Constrictor in Tasmania.
All except one member of the Family Boidae are listed in CITES Appendix II. The Argentine subspecies of Boa Constrictor (B. c. occidentalis) is included in CITES Appendix I. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, only the Argentine subspecies is listed as 'specimens taken to be suitable for live import' and require a permit to import into Australia issued under this Act.
In Tasmania, the species is a 'controlled animal' under the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002.
This risk assessment concludes that the Boa Constrictor is a serious threat to Tasmania and proposes that imports be restricted to those licence holders approved for keeping serious threat species.
Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor) (739Kb)