Atretium schistosum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Natricidae

Scientific Name: Atretium schistosum (Daudin, 1803)
Common Name(s):
English Olive Keelback Water Snake, Olivaceous Keelback, Olive Keelback Wart Snake, Split Keelback Snake
Atretium schistosum GÜNTHER 1864
Coluber schistosus Daudin, 1803
Helicops schistosus (Daudin, 1803)
Helicops schistosus Boulenger 1890
Tropidonotus moestus Cantor, 1839
Tropidonotus schistosus (Daudin, 1803)
Tropidonotus surgens Cantor, 1839
Tropidonotus schistosus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): de Silva, A.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Atretium schistosum has been assessed as Least Concern, as it has a large distribution in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and has been reported as common. No major threats have been reported and this species is not undergoing a significant population decline. This species has previously been exploited for trade in skins, however, this appears to have nearly stopped and nonetheless is managed by CITES.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. In India, this snake is found along the east coast to Uttaranchal (Sharma 2003). It is thought to be absent from most of northern India. De Silva (1990) states that this species is known from all the provinces of Sri Lanka, however, it was recently noted to be absent from the Knuckles Mountain Range (Project Knuckles 2005). In Nepal, a few records exist in the Midlands from east to west (Schleich and Kästle 2002).
Countries occurrence:
India; Nepal; Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Sharma (2003) states that this is "a common snake", particularly around Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, and Kakinada (Cocanada), Andhra Pradesh. De Silva (1990) also reports that it is common in Sri Lanka.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This diurnal, aquatic snake is found among vegetation near freshwater and is found in proximity to saline pools and lagoons in the Jaffna Peninsula. This species is often found on land, and it has been observed in streams, ponds, wells, and paddy fields, and in close proximity to water sources. This species feeds on frogs and fish.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: While CITES records indicate that the trade in this species has nearly completely halted, it is likely that there are still specimens traded illegally due to the earlier high demand for skins of this species. However, while it is known that this species has been harvested from the wild, it is possible that it may also be bred in captivity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Until 1972, upon the enactment of the Wildlife Protection Act in India, this species was one of many species that were commonly used in the snake skin trade. According to the CITES database, the skins of this species were traded for handbags, shoes, garments and various leather products from 1985-1996, however, trade seems to have stopped with the exception of 14 traded leather products in 2005 (CITES 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species was considered in the Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) Workshop for the Amphibians and Reptiles of India, which was convened by the Biodiversity Conservation Prioritization Project, India, and held in Coimbatore in 1997. It was regionally assessed as LR/nt under the IUCN Categories and Criteria version 2.3. More specifically, it was considered to be relatively widespread and and occurring in many locations, and to have a stable population.

Recently, this species was included in CITES Appendix III. No further conservation measures are required at present.

Citation: de Silva, A. 2010. Atretium schistosum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T176362A7225944. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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