The indiscriminate killing of snakes that occurs around the world due to fear and ignorance is a serious threat to snake populations. This alarming rate of killing is poorly studied, often undocumented and might lead to local extirpation if left unattended. Killing snakes does not solve human-snake conflict.
How Save The Snakes Solves Human-Snake Conflict
Save The Snakes works to reduce negative interactions between humans and snakes by implementing mitigation strategies which will lead to peaceful coexistence. To mitigate human-snake conflict in developing countries, Save The Snakes empower and support our Conservation Partners to conduct their in-situ snake conservation efforts. This community-based approach is unique because they aim to mitigate immediate human-induced threats to snakes by working with all the stakeholders, while simultaneously collecting scientific data to identify, as well as prioritize, critical habitats for species conservation and conflict mitigation priorities. Our Partners listen to and work with communities impacted by snakebite and together they implement practices that prevent conflict with snakes. Therefore, by devising and implementing community initiatives and education strategies, our Partners can discover solutions that are mutually beneficial to both human and snakes.
King Cobras: A Species Impacted By Human-Snake Conflict
In rural India, the current solution for mitigating this snakebite crisis is to indiscriminately kill snakes, including king cobras, which has contributed to the species decline. Currently king cobras are listed in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Act and as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This is a disaster for the environment as snakes serve an integral role in the ecosystem and control rodent populations, which spread disease to humans. Save The Snakes and the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society have partnered together for the conservation of king cobras and to reduce human-snake conflict in South India.
Over the last three years, the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society Team has observed as many as 30 adult king cobras deaths as a result of redundant killings at different location across the northern Eastern Ghats region of Andhra Pradesh state in South India. Download this PDF to learn more: Indiscriminate Killing of King Cobras in the Eastern Ghats
Many more killings go unnoticed. This indicates a deep intolerance among people and lack of measures to prevent such incidents. Baseline data about the species from the region is also rudimentary. The species could be wiped out from the region if this rate of mortality continues.
Each year 46,000 people die from snakebite in rural India. Most of these deaths can be prevented. Follow these simple guidelines to avoid snakebite: