The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Bulletin is a quarterly publication in English. It includes full-length papers, natural history notes, book reviews, and other items of general herpetological interest. Emphasis is placed on natural history and conservation as well as captive care that includes breeding, husbandry, veterinary, and behavioural aspects.


pdf 02. Behaviour and activity pattern of a Kanchanaburi viper Trimeresurus kanburiensis

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AUTHORS: CURT H. BARNES, PAKPOOM MAKOEN, AKRACHAI AKSORNNEAM, WANRAWEE TIPPRAPATKUL & COLIN T. STRINE

Abstract – Several conservation assessments have proposed that the Kanchanaburi pit viper Trimeresurus kanburiensis is threatened with extinction due to limited distribution, few documented sites and the collection of mature individuals for the international pet trade. No previous study has evaluated these threats comprehensively, nor investigated the natural history of the species in the wild. To address these knowledge gaps, we began with a brief review of wildlife trade reports and then during September–November 2020 we undertook a field study (nearly 100 surveyor hours) using fixed camera recording. We located only a single specimen, a male, whose behaviour, activity pattern and natural history appeared similar to those of other green pit viper species. The general habitat selected by this individual conformed to prior observations although close proximity to a paved road and use of a termite mound were novel. The review of wildlife trade reports did not reveal any seizures or observations, which was likely due to T. kanburiensis not receiving formal international protection and exclusion from stringent local legislation. We recommend further field study, identification of sites of occurrence, and investigation on popular websites and social media platforms that trade in T. kanburiensis and phenotypically similar Thai species. For a Thai language summary of this article see Supplementary material on the BHS website.

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