Rarest snake
Antiguan racer
Antigua and Barbuda ()
The rarest snake is the Antiguan racer (Alsophis antiguae) of which fewer than 150 are now believed to exist, including those in captivity. The snake was once common in Antigua, but disappeared from the island following the introduction of non-indigenous predators, black and brown rats (Rattus rattus and Rattus norvegicus) and then the Asian mongoose (Herpestes javanicus). The racer was thought to be extinct, but in 1989 was rediscovered only on Great Bird Island off the northeast coast of Antigua. Following intense conservation programmes, the species is slowly recovering, although remains classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List 2004.