Biodiversity Conservation - Challenges for the Future

The Diversity and the Ecological Status of Snakes in Kerala Region-A View to Prioritize Conservation Measures

Author(s): Dileep Kumar R., Anaswara Krishnan S., Laladhas K. P. and Oommen V. Oommen

Pp: 3-26 (24)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681080215115010004

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Snakes are ecologically significant reptilian groups, but very little measures have been taken towards exploring their diversity. Kerala, located at the southern tip of the Indian subcontinent has a countable richness in snake species, approximately 104 species including endangered and endemic species. Even though there is an abundance of species diversity, a critical turn down in the population of many snake species has been encountered and it is necessary to tackle this threat of decline in population. Snakes as a whole have very little commercial value as compared with other group of animals. The various ways in which they are exploited tend to be limited to specific regions or to a few species. In addition to exploitation, habitat destruction and pollution are the most serious threats affecting their diversity. The physical structure and thermal properties of the inhabiting sites are crucial to these ectothermic creatures; and so the continuous decline in the quality of habitat is the fundamental cause that makes these species vulnerable. Extended analysis of species-habitat associationship is crucial for effectual and targeted conservation planning and management. The critical limitation found in conservation planning is the nonavailability of statistics on population size of individual species and their habitat requirements. This chapter provides an overview of the distribution and the ecological status of snake species in Kerala and also highlights the threats and possible conservation strategies for protecting their diversity.

Keywords: Snakes, diversity, anthropogenic, ecology, ecosystem, ectothermic, hotspot, parthenogenic, predator, prey, conservation, Western Ghats.

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