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Biodiversity & Environment

King Cobra in Tillari Reserve

  • 06 Jul 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, a king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), was sighted in the recently declared conservation reserve, Tillari, in Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra.

Key Points

  • King Cobra:
    • About:
      • They are one of the most venomous snakes on the planet and the longest of all venomous snakes.
      • Their venom is not the most potent among venomous snakes, but the amount of neurotoxin they can deliver in a single bite—up to two-tenths of a fluid ounce—is enough to kill 20 people, or even an elephant.
      • They are the only snakes in the world that build nests for their eggs, which they guard ferociously until the hatchlings emerge.
    • Habitat:
      • They live mainly in the rain forests and plains of India, southern China, and Southeast Asia.
      • They are comfortable in a variety of habitats, including forests, bamboo thickets, mangrove swamps, high-altitude grasslands, and in rivers.
    • Threats:
      • They face a variety of threats stemming from human activities such as:
        • Deforestation.
        • International pet trade.
        • Persecution by humans.
        • Used for skin, food, and medicinal purposes.
    • Protection Status:
  • Tillari Conservation Reserve:
    • Tillari is the seventh wildlife corridor in the state to be declared as a ‘conservation reserve’.
    • The area covering nine villages in the forest range is known to serve as a corridor and even as a habitat for the population of tigers and elephants moving between the three states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
    • It connects Mhadei sanctuary in Goa and Bhimgad in Karnataka.
    • It has semi-evergreen forest, tropical moist deciduous forests, and a number of unique trees, butterflies, and flowers.

Conservation Reserves in India

  • Conservation reserves and community reserves are terms denoting protected areas of the country which typically act as buffer zones to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests.
  • Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities and community areas if part of the lands are privately owned.
  • These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − the amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
  • These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land and land use.
  • There are 97 existing Conservation Reserves in India covering an area of 44483 km2, which is 0.14% of the geographical area of the country (National Wildlife Database, Dec. 2020).

Source: IE

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