Friday, February 26, 2010

Rescue of Short nosed vine snake Ahaetulla prasina (Shaw, 1802) in Assam University Campus, Silchar, Assam

Kripaljyoti Mazumdar1, Mithra Dey2

1GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, North East Unit Vivek vihar, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India-791113

2Department of Ecology and Environmental Science Assam University, Silchar, Assam, India-788011

Reptile populations are declining worldwide and this is causing growing concern. High levels of population declines followed by the expansion of red list are creating demand for eff+ective strategies to maximize conservation efforts for amphibians and reptiles (Becker and Loyola, 2008). Population decline and population extinctions are a more sensitive indicator of loss of biodiversity than species extinctions due to the probable chance of the entering the species in extinction statistics in future, which are losing a considerable amount of their population in current scenario (Ceballos and Ehrlich 2002).

Snakes instill a deep-rooted fear in many people, even though these shy creatures prefer to avoid humans and most other animals larger than themselves. Of those snakes who share human habitats, the vast majority are harmless. Many of the non-poisonous, harmless snakes are killed by human out of the fear deep rooted. Short nosed Vine snakes Ahaetulla prasina (Shaw, 1802) is a mildly venomous, yet docile species, commonly found in forested and rural areas in throughout south-east Asia and pacific islands. It feeds on vertebrates, including small nesting birds, lizards and frogs. The young are born alive, and are brownish in color (Denial, 2002; Whitaker and Captain, 2004; Das 2002).

We have rescued a wounded Short nosed Vine snakes (A. prasina) from south eastern side of Assam university campus (24041.39’N 92044.57’E) near the construction site of new buildings on 2nd April 2009. It was badly wounded at the infralabials portion of head and was and primary treatment was given at laboratory for animal biodiversity, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Assam University and was kept under observation for one day. It was a female individual and the length was measured during observation which is found to be 1.02 m. After a careful observation and subsequent treatment, it was released into the eco-forest which is located inside the campus covering an area of 150 acre area. The forest type in this forest is represented by tropical semi-evergreen forest (Dutta et al., 1998).

It is known that fauna of certain countries, having rapid rates of human disturbances can be identified as being most at risk. Because resources for conservation are limited, the scientific community must provide managers with a solid basis for establishing conservation priorities to minimize the amphibian and reptile population declines and consequently species threat (Becker and Loyola, 2008). Along with this the conservation education and awareness among the people towards snakes and it’s ecological and cultural importance in primordial Indian civilization is also inevitable.

Acknowledgement: We are thankful to students of department of Mass-communication for the information and help during rescue. We are also inevitably thankful to the other faculty members of Department of Ecology and Environmental science for the support.


Whitaker, R. and Captain, A. 2004. Snakes of India: the Field Guide. Draco Books, Chengalpattu, pp. 480

Daniel, J.C. 2002. The book of Indian reptiles and amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University press, pp. 238+viii

Das, I. 2002. A photographic guide to Snakes and other reptiles of India. Om Books International, pp. 144

Dutta, B.K., Gupta A & Das, A.K. 1998. Assam University Campus (Silchar) Ecology and Biodiversity. Assam University, Silchar, 19 pp.

Becker, C.G. and Loyola, R.D. 2008. Extinction risk assessments at the population and species level: implication for amphibian conservation. Biodiversity Conservation 17: 2297-2304.

Ceballos G. and Ehrlich, P.R. 2002. Mammal population losses and the extinction crisis. Science 296:904-907.

Recommended Citation:

Mazumdar, K. and Dey, M. 2010. Rescue of Short nosed vine snake Ahaetulla prasina (Shaw, 1802) in Assam University Campus, Silchar, Assam. Zoos’ Print, Vol. XXV (2):25.

Kripaljyoti Mazumdar
GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
NE Unit, Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh, India-791113.
Phone-0091360 2216423(O)
Mob: +91-9436633121, 9615041048