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Researchers Update King Cobra Distribution in Nepal

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is truly one the world’s most iconic snake species. These large, venomous snakes can be found throughout Southeast Asia and they require a large area of land in which to thrive. However, king cobras are becoming increasingly threatened by human activity and require greater conservation efforts to prevent the decline of their populations. To save these snakes and solve the problems they face, wildlife conservationists must first gather more information about these elusive animals, including where they live!

In Nepal, researchers have recently uncovered the mystery of king cobra distribution, which will greatly support much-needed snake conservation efforts. Wildlife conservationist Kul Bahadur Thapa and his team conducted extensive field surveys and searched literature for historical records of where king cobras were observed in the country. They have published their findings which conclude that king cobras are actually more distributed throughout Nepal than previously thought. Yet, alarmingly, nearly 17% of the king cobras recorded in the study had been killed by humans. This signifies that the species are facing great threats in Nepal.

Now that there is a better understanding of king cobra distribution in Nepal, targeted conservation actions can be implemented to protect the species. Congratulations to all involved with this important study!

Read the entire paper on ResearchGate or The Himalayan Naturalist.

Save The Snakes is honored to have been mentioned in the Acknowledgments section of the paper. Featured photo graciously provided to Save The Snakes by Kul Bahadur Thapa.

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