Orthriophis moellendorfi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Orthriophis moellendorfi (Boettger, 1886)
Common Name(s):
English Moellendorff's Trinket Snake
Coluber moellendorffi (Boettger, 1886)
Cynophis moellendorffi Boettger, 1886
Elaphe moellendorfi (Boettger, 1886)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2d ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-30
Assessor(s): Zhou, Z., Lau, M. & Nguyen, T.Q.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
This species is listed as Vulnerable as it is inferred to have suffered a population decline of over 30% over the past ten years (and therefore also within the longer of ten years or three generations) owing to high levels of trade in the species recorded in markets.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has been recorded from northern Viet Nam, and from Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan, China (Zhao and Alder 1993; State Forestry Administration of China 2009). It is found at elevations of 30 to 300 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan); Viet Nam
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):30
Upper elevation limit (metres):300
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In 1950s, the population of this species was about 600,000 (Zhao 1998). The survey taken from 1995-2004 found that the population decreased to 350,000 with a decreasing trend (State Forest Administration of China, 2009). It is now considered to be a rare species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It appears to be mostly found in limestone areas where it often lives in caves. Habitats are rocky, forested hillsides, meadows and bamboo thickets. It is oviparous. The female deposits 7-10 eggs in July (Zhao 2006). Captive animals have deposited eggs in the autumn of the year, these hatched after an incubation of two months. Adults feed on bats, rodents and birds, lizards and frogs (Mehrtens 1987).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Li and Li (1998) reported that this species appeared in live animal trade from Viet Nam to China during 1993-1996. China Wildlife Conservation Association, WildAid (2006) reported consumption of this species as food in China, but provided no further data on quantity. He and Peng (1999) investigated the market in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province of China, and estimated that the annual sale quantity in that city is about 129.9 ton. Zhou and Jiang (2004) reported that 340,390 live snakes and 195,700 pieces of skin of this species were exported from China 1990-2000, while 30,000 pieces of skin were imported into China from 1991-2001. The CITES workshop on snakes in 2011 reported that export of snakes in China decreased very quickly since 2004.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overexploitation is the main threat to this species. Its meat is used for food, medicinal liquor, and the skin is used for making bags, shoes etc.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are currently known for this species. There is a need to regulate the trade in this species. It is present in some protected areas. More information is needed on this species' population status, natural history and threats.

Citation: Zhou, Z., Lau, M. & Nguyen, T.Q. 2012. Orthriophis moellendorfi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T192040A2031924. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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