Protobothrops sieversorum


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Protobothrops sieversorum
Species Authority: (Ziegler, Herrmann, David, Orlov & Pauwels, 2000)
Common Name/s:
English Three Horned-scaled Pitviper
Triceratolepidophis sieversorum Ziegler, Herrmann, David, Orlov & Pauwels, 2000
Taxonomic Notes: This snake was originally described within the monotypic genus Triceratolepidophis (Ziegler et al. 2000). Guo et al. (2007) synonymized this genus with Protobothrops.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-09-01
Assessor/s: Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q. & Bain, R.
Reviewer/s: Bowles, P. & Bauder, J.
Contributor/s: De Silva, R., Milligan, HT, Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Protobothrops sieversorum has been assessed as Endangered as it has an extent of occurrence less than 5,000 km², it is known from two locations defined by a threat from logging and agriculture, and there is a continuing decline in the quality and extent of its forest habitat.
2010 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is only known from the Annamite Mountains of Lao PDR and Vietnam (Ziegler et al. 2000, Hermann et al. 2002). It has been found in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (Vietnam) and the Hin Namno National Biodiversity Conservation Area (= National Protected Area) (Laos), which are part of the biggest continuous karst formation in Indochina. It has been recorded at 200 and 600 m asl.
Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This snake is infrequently encountered in Vietnam, and only a single specimen is known from Laos despite repeated surveys in both areas, suggesting that it is either uncommon or rare (Q.T. Nguyen and B. Stuart pers. comm. September 2011).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is endemic to evergreen karst forests at low and possibly mid-elevations, in both primary and disturbed forest. Although wild individuals are almost unknown, laboratory studies have found that this snake is oviparous and eats rodents in captivity; captive clutches consist of 3–4 eggs (Shiryaev et al. 2007).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species may be impacted by habitat degradation and loss, as deforestation is occurring within the Annamites. Illegal logging for hardwoods and slash-and-burn agriculture are the major threats to this area, but occur at only small scales. They do, however, occur within the protected areas where this snake has been found, as villages within and around the borders of the reserves use the forest for subsistence. As this apparently rare snake may have a restricted range within the Annamites, these processes may represent major threats and are resulting in declines in the extent and quality of the forest habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species, however, it is only known from protected areas. Villages exist around the boundary of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and within the boundaries of Hin Nam No National Protected Area in Laos. Surveys are needed to identify the true distribution of this species, its population status, and to establish whether there is any harvest of this species for medicinal or other purposes.
Citation: Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q. & Bain, R. 2012. Protobothrops sieversorum. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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