The Snakes and the Biodiversity

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Biodiversity And Snakes : 

Biodiversity And Snakes Vijay Diwan President, Nisarga Mitra Mandal, Aurangabad vijdiw@gmail.com

Living Forms: Pyramid of numbers : 

Living Forms: Pyramid of numbers Tertiary consumers Secondary consumers Primary consumers Producers

India’s Biodiversity : 

India’s Biodiversity Land area : 2.4% of the world Biodiversity : 8% of the global biodiversity Position : 12th mega biodiversity center Plant diversity : Currently 10th in world and 4th in Asia Mammal sps. : 10th in world Vertebrates : 11th in world Domestic sps. : 7th in world

India: Biodiversity Sites : 

India: Biodiversity Sites Forests, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, deserts and marine ecosystems Area surveyed so far : 70% Areas not surveyed : 30% (inaccessible areas of Himalayas, parts of Andaman & Nicobar islands & oceanic Exclusive Economic Zone)

Snakes: the harboured fears and repulsions : 

Snakes: the harboured fears and repulsions Religious stories, folklores, traditions and lack of understanding about snakes make people regard them as evil. Snakes are considered the dangerous killers and enemies of humans. Colloquial expressions and anecdotes make the perceived notions grow.

What should one know about the snakes? : 

What should one know about the snakes? Snakes are the reptiles, the lizards, turtles, and crocodiles being their cousins. These are the cold blooded creatures. A majority of snakes are non-poisonous. Snakes drink water rarely, but never drink milk or other liquids. Snakes use their tongues for smelling. Snakes do not bite unless disturbed or threatened.

The snake habitats : 

The snake habitats Snakes occupy a wide range of habitats, like fields, forests, wetlands, ponds, lakes, streams, rocky hillsides, farmland, vacant lots, incomplete buildings and residential parts. They may travel along the ground, swim in water, climb the trees and bushes, and venture below the ground.

Snake-sheltersSome snakes do burrow, but most "snake holes" are produced by ants, birds, mice, shrews and other small animals. : 

Snake-sheltersSome snakes do burrow, but most "snake holes" are produced by ants, birds, mice, shrews and other small animals.

Snakes’ contribution to biodiversity : 

Snakes’ contribution to biodiversity Snakes affect the "balance of nature" as both predators and prey. They feed on animals such as slugs, worms, insects, fish, amphibians, snakes, birds, bird eggs and small mammals. India loses 6 Cr. tonnes of food-grains every year to pests like rats. Snakes are responsible for biological control of the populations of rodents and other pests.

The snakes of IndiaWorld: 2700 snake sps. / 450 poisonousIndia: 270 snake species / 60 poisonous4 commonly found poisonous species:Cobra, Russel’s viper, Krait & Saw-scaled viper. : 

The snakes of IndiaWorld: 2700 snake sps. / 450 poisonousIndia: 270 snake species / 60 poisonous4 commonly found poisonous species:Cobra, Russel’s viper, Krait & Saw-scaled viper.

Do’s and don’ts on sighting a snake : 

Do’s and don’ts on sighting a snake Do not pick, probe or disturb a snake. Do not try to catch a snake unless you are trained. Walk cautiously on wild terrains with much undergrowth and hiding places. Do not lift the lying objects on a jungle trail. If you accost a snake, stand still, back up slowly and walk away silently.

How to prevent contact with snakes : 

How to prevent contact with snakes Screen the house doors and windows to stop the snakes from entering. Lift stones, tins and other objects with proper protection and caution. Use shoes and hand gloves when working in the courtyard. Walk cautiously when on a jungle trail or trekking expedition.

After a snake bite : 

After a snake bite Snake venom is the poisonous saliva, used to produce the anti-venom serum Pain, edema, breathing distress, nausea and blurred vision are the symptoms of snake bite The severity of venom depends on the quantity injected. Place of the bite is important. Torniquetting & keeping the bite site level with heart is important. Moving the patient to a hospital within three hours would help.

Factors threatening snakes’ survival. : 

Factors threatening snakes’ survival. Practices by snake charmers. Killing of snakes out of fright. Loss of habitat. Fires in the bush-forests. Excessive use of chemical insecticides. Poaching and snake-skin trade.

Snakes are necessary for the healthy ecosystems.Live and let the snakes live : 

Snakes are necessary for the healthy ecosystems.Live and let the snakes live

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