THE BOTTOM- Wageningen University and Research and the University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein researchers have recently identified two new nonnative reptiles on Saba.
The smooth-scaled tegulet and Brahminy blindsnake are both able to reproduce asexually, so their populations could expand quickly. Understanding the impact of their introduction will be key in protecting the biodiversity of Saba.
There had previously been two known nonnative amphibians and reptiles on Saba, so the addition of these two now doubles that list. Furthermore, currently 40% of all terrestrial reptiles and amphibians on Saba are nonnative species. Although direct competition between these two new species and native species is not expected, invasive species are considered among the top drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change around the world. Understanding and addressing this issue will be key in preserving the unique biodiversity on Saba.