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Naja siamensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ELAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Naja siamensis
Species Authority: Laurenti, 1768
Common Name(s):
English Black And White Spitting Cobra, Indo-chinese Spitting Cobra, Siamese Cobra
Synonym(s):
Naja isanensis Nutaphand, 1982
Naja naja subspecies isanensis Nutaphand, 1982
Naja sputatrix subspecies isanensis Nutaphand, 1982
Naja tripudians Nootpand, 1971

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ad ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Stuart, B., Thy, N., Chan-Ard, T., Nguyen, T.Q. & Bain, R.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, HT, Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Justification:
This species is listed as Vulnerable on the basis that this species has experienced high rates of decline throughout its range, estimated at over 50% in parts of its range and likely to be between 30-50% globally over the past 15-18 years, which equals three generations assuming a generation length of 5-6 years, and the cause of decline (overharvesting) has not ceased.
History:
2010 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has a very wide distribution throughout mainland southeast Asia, with an extent of occurrence of over 800,000 km2 that encompasses Cambodia, southern Laos, central and all of southern Vietnam, northern Thailand and eastern Myanmar.
Countries:
Native:
Cambodia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no detailed population information available for this species, but snake hunters in the region of U Minh Thuong National Park, Viet Nam, report that the species has become much rarer (Stuart 2004). This is the case throughout all of Vietnam (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. 2011), with the species estimated to have declined by more than 50% over 10 years (Dang et al 2007). Similar declines are apparent throughout Indochina (T. Neang and B. Stuart pers. comm. 2011), although no formal estimates of rates of decline exist. The status of subpopulations in Thailand is unknown (T. Chan-ard pers. comm. 2011).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits lowland and upland forest and cultivated areas, including rice paddies. It is found in deciduous, disturbed and open forest, and is absent from closed-canopy evergreen forest (B. Stuart and Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. 2011). Generation length in this species is uncertain, but captive specimens have been reported to exhibit generation lengths of 4-5 years. Generation length in the wild is probably longer, and is here estimated at 5-6 years.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is heavily harvested in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR for both domestic use and export to China, where it is used in traditional medicine (Li and Li 1998, Li and Wang 1999 [as Naja naja], B. Stuart pers. comm. 2011). The species is also exported between Indochinese countries for medicinal use (T. Neang and B. Stuart pers. comm. 2011). This snake is sometimes harvested for the skin trade, and it is also exploited for snake wine, where it is among the most commonly-found species (Somaweera and Somaweera 2010). There is an export ban in Thailand. The species is successfully bred in captivity in Vietnam, and many restaurants in Vietnam are now supplied from captive-bred sources (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. 2011), although this may not suppress demand for wild-caught animals (B. Stuart pers. comm. 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Like other cobras, this species is heavily harvested in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao PDR where it is used for traditional Chinese medicine (B. Stuart pers. comm. 2011). This is the primary cause of observed population declines in this species, which is highly tolerant of habitat modification. This species is sometimes harvested for the skin trade, but this is only a minor threat as the skin quality is not high.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. In places the distribution of this species coincides with protected areas, probably providing small safeguards from high levels of harvesting. Further research into the harvest levels of this species is needed, as is population monitoring. It is a protected species in Vietnam, where it is listed as Endangered in the national Red Data Book (Dang et al. 2007).

Citation: Stuart, B., Thy, N., Chan-Ard, T., Nguyen, T.Q. & Bain, R. 2012. Naja siamensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 October 2014.
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