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New records of snakes from Chitwan National Park and vicinity, Central Nepal

Deb Prasad Pandey

Abstract


Numerous snake species worldwide are threatened due to human activity. Therefore, ecological information pertaining to snake assemblages needs to be periodically updated to document potential changes in species composition that can be used to develop effective conservation strategies. Here, we present recent data on the status of, and threats to, snake species in Chitwan National Park in Nepal and its surroundings including adjacent areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh States of India. We identified 32 species from a total of 448 vouchered specimens. We document the first country record for Boiga siamensis in Sauraha, Chitwan. We provide the fifth distribution report, with voucher specimens and habitat information, for Daboia russelii in Nepal. We also report the first known record of Lycodon striatus in the central and western lowlands of Nepal. We document intentional killing of snakes, which may contribute to local population declines and even local extirpation of some species. We recommend periodic snake surveys in the future to better understand snake populations in this area and to provide data that can be used to develop and refine effective conservation strategies. Keywords. Chitwan National Park, conservation, herpetofauna, snake

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