Habitat suitability, threats and conservation strategies of Hump-nosed Pit Viper Hypnale hymnal Merrem (Reptilia: Viperidae) found in Western Ghats, Goa, India

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N.S. Sawant
T.D. Jadhav
S.K. Shyama

Abstract

Recent studies indicate that most species are best conserved in their natural community, which results in niche conservation. Depletion of any species is an irreversible change. In the present study the habitat ecology, threats and conservation strategies for the Hump-nosed Pit Viper Hypnale hypnale are suggested. The present study was undertaken in some protected areas (PAs) of Goa and the cashew plantations adjoining these PAs. H. hypnale prefers cool and moist places; most of the females of this species are found to spend the period from post monsoon to late summer in the cashew plantations adjoining and within the PAs, making them more susceptible to anthropogenic threats. We conclude that this pattern of seasonal changes in habitat use is mostly a consequence of niche conservation. However, this preference for a particular micro-habitat emphasizes the importance for the conservation of this snake population and although the most suitable habitat in the Western Ghats, for this species is included in the protected areas, specific guidelines are needed to assess conservation needs.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Sawant, N., Jadhav, T. and Shyama, S. 2010. Habitat suitability, threats and conservation strategies of Hump-nosed Pit Viper Hypnale hymnal Merrem (Reptilia: Viperidae) found in Western Ghats, Goa, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 2, 11 (Oct. 2010), 1261–1267. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o2490.1261-7.
Section
Communications
Author Biographies

N.S. Sawant

Nitin S. Sawant employed with WWF-India, as State Director of the Goa State office, with responsibilities of designing, planning and executing environmental awareness and conservation programme in the state and to address issues pertaining to environment and wildlife. Actively involved in rescue operations of snakes and other wild animals in association with the forest department of Goa.

T.D. Jadhav

Trupti D. Jadhav founder member of Nirmiti, a local NGO working towards documentation of biodiversity and its conservation. Pursued MSc. in zoology through Goa University. Presently involved in wildlife conservation activities.

S.K. Shyama

Dr. S.K. Shyama, Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, Goa University.