Islands and Snakes contains 13 chapters describing ecological systems with foci on snakes and their ecological roles on islands around the world. Each chapter is written by one or more authors who is an authority on that particular system. Summaries of research on the various islands are written in a narrative manner that includes science as well as personal insights in easily understood language. These varied vignettes of science feature islands around the world, and in all cases, fantastic species of snakes and their roles in the community of insular organisms in which they occur. Both challenges and opportunities associated with island life are discussed, as well as the unique attributes of snakes and their conservation as unique and important parts of nature. Chapters include colourful photographs and illustrations, and collectively they convey information on topics that include ecology, behaviour, biogeography, physiology, adaptation, and evolutionary biology. An introductory chapter presents a review and perspective on the historical importance of island ecology and how snakes have contributed to our understanding of evolution and adaptation. The other chapters focus on snakes inhabiting islands associated with Asia, Australia, South America, North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The final chapter features the unique "table top islands" or tepuis of South America as examples of ecological islands where elements of biota have become isolated by geographic features of landscape similarly to oceanic islands.
Chapter 1: Ecology of Snakes on Islands / Marcio Martins and Harvey B. Lillywhite
Chapter 2: Isolation, Dispersal, and Changing Sea Levels: How Sea Kraits Spread to Far-Flung Islands / Harold Heatwole
Chapter 3: Terrestrial habitats influence the spatial distribution and abundance of amphibious sea kraits: implication for conservation / Xavier Bonnet and François Brischoux
Chapter 4: Physiological Ecology of Sea Kraits inhabiting Orchid Island / Taiwan Ming-Chung Tu and Harvey B. Lillywhite
Chapter 5: The Queimada Grande Island and its Biological Treasure: the Golden Lancehead / Marcio Martins, Ricardo J. Sawaya, Selma Almeida-Santos, and Otavio A. V. Marques
Chapter 6: Pleasure and Pain: Insular Tiger Snakes and Seabirds in Australia / Fabien Aubret
Chapter 7: The Eyes have it: Watching Treeboas on the Grenada Bank / Robert W. Henderson
Chapter 8: The ecology and conservation of the Milos viper, Macrovipera schweizeri / Göran Nilson
Chapter 9: The Unique Insular Population of Cottonmouth Snakes at Seahorse Key / Harvey B. Lillywhite and Coleman M. Sheehy III
Chapter 10: Living without a rattle: the biology and conservation of the rattlesnake, Crotalus catalinensis, from Santa Catalina Island, Mexico / Gustavo Arnaud and Marcio Martins
Chapter 11: Decline and Recovery of the Lake Erie Watersnake: A Story of Success in Conservation / Richard B. King and Kristin M. Stanford
Chapter 12: Defending Resources on Isolated Islands: Snakes Compete for Hatchling Sea Turtles / Akira Mori, Hidetoshi Ota, and Koichi Hirate
Chapter 13: Islands in the Sky: Snakes on South American Tepuis / D. Bruce Means and César Barrio-Amorós
Harvey B. Lillywhite is a Professor of Biology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has published numerous scientific articles on snakes, including those living on islands in many parts of the world. His research has been featured in Science, Nature, Scientific American, Natural History, Proceedings of the Royal Society, and many other publications. He is author of the book How Snakes Work, published by Oxford University Press in 2014.
Marcio Martins is a Professor of Ecology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has published numerous scientific articles on the natural history, ecology, evolution and conservation of frogs and snakes, including studies on island snakes from Brazil and Mexico. His research has been featured in Nature Ecology & Evolution, Biological Conservation, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Oecologia, Proceedings of the Royal Society, and many other publications.