The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

The 2017/18  impact factor of The Herpetological Journal is 1.268

pdf 03. Solving species quandary: why awareness programs are pivotal in snake conservation


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pp. 214-218

Authors: Ramesh Roshnath & Nithin Divakar

Abstract: Snakes are feared but largely misunderstood by the public. In India, a country with ancient cultures and traditions, snakes were historically worshiped and their habitats were protected as sacred. However, over time these values have shifted to non-conservative approaches, even with people killing snakes on encountering them. This attitudinal change is an indication of knowledge erosion. A closed-ended survey was conducted for 300 randomly selected people in Kerala, India in the age range of 21-55 years to discern their skills in identifying common snake species, and evaluate their attitudes and knowledge about the importance of snakes in the environment. The study showed a lack of knowledge among the responders regarding snakes. Common snakes were not familiar, venomous and non-venomous snakes were mis-classified, and a lack of knowledge about post-bite treatment was observed. Therefore, there is an urgent need for planned conservation education and awareness programmes to build a snake-friendly society. A better understanding of snakes will supplement conservation in the future, and can minimise human-snake conflicts.

Keywords: snakes, conservation, identification, awareness

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