From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Assam Keelback Snake
Mains level : NA
More than a century after it was first seen, the Assam keelback — a snake species endemic to the region — was rediscovered in 2018 at the Poba Reserve Forest (RF) by a team from Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Try this question from CSP 2018:
Q.In which one of the following State Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary is located?
(a) Arunachal Pradesh (b) Manipur (c) Meghalaya (d) Nagaland
Assam Keelback Snake
- The species is small — about 60 cm long, brownish, with a patterned belly.
- This particular keelback does not belong to the generalized keelback snake of India but is rather a unique genus (Herpetoreas).
- It was discovered 129 years ago by Samuel Edward Peel, a British tea planter based in Upper Assam.
- The snake’s ‘lost’ status has a lot to do with the habitat it occupies — in this case, a lowland evergreen forest.
- These forests have been selectively degraded during the last 100 years: tea plantations have been made, selective logging has taken place, and many other activities such as oil exploration and coal mining.
Is the snake under threat?
- Most snakes and other reptiles are categorised as ‘data deficient’ in the IUCN list.
- There is practically no information available about it and it is difficult to determine its status.