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| Last Updated:21/08/2017

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Erratic Monsoons may be shrinking this Snake (Source: The Hindu 05/08/2017)

 

  

                    The Malabar pit viper, one of India’s many snakes found only in the Western Ghats may be responding to erratic monsoons and spells of water scarcity with a reduction in size. It is also less frequently encountered in the forests. The many facets of the snake were on show at an exhibition titled ‘The Malabar Pit Viper – a wonder of the Western Ghats’ organised by conservationists, herpetologists and artists in Goa. “It is for the first time that 35 conservation photographers, researchers and herpetologists have come together to showcase the uniqueness of this species,” said herpetologist, conservationist and member of the Goa State Biodiversity Board, Nirmal Kulkarni. A flagship species of the ghats, he said, the viper was chosen because there is a lot of colour around it drawing visitors, to whom “we can talk about this and other snakes.” The viper’s life-cycle is linked to water. But in the entire Western Ghats landscape, monsoon patterns are becoming erratic, affecting habitats and in turn the species. “Because altered monsoons affect water availability, the immediate impact on Malabar pit vipers seems to be reduction in size.”