Snake Fauna of High Wavy Mountains, Western Ghats, India: Species Richness, Status, and Distribution Pattern

S. R. Ganesh, Subramanian Bhupathy, Patrick David, N. Sathishkumar, G. Srinivas

Abstract


We present a collation of snakes of the High Wavy Mountains, Western Ghats, India by combining records in historical literature, past work and recent field studies. A total of 62 species and subspecies (vs. 38 previously) of snakes are currently recorded from High Wavy Mountains (abridged as High Wavys). Most snakes of the High Wavys belong to the former family Colubridae auctorum, i.e., now families Colubridae and Natricidae as currently defined. Most snake species of this area are terrestrial. They can be divided into either Western Ghats endemics or widespread species with respect to their distribution. Lastly, these species belong to the category ‘Near Threatened’ with respect to the IUCN Conservation status. Recent fieldwork unearthed several unreported species, mostly the widespread ones that inhabit the drier foothills. Some snakes recorded in the recent fieldwork, particularly Uropeltids, stand taxonomically unresolved and require further studies. Tropidolaemus huttoni was not recorded in any of the recent studies and the publication of a possible third specimen is reviewed. The present paper highlights the conservation value of the High Wavys and calls for an improved conservation action.

Keywords


diversity; High Wavy Mountains; snakes; status; Megamalai; zoogeography

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References


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