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Bungarus fasciatus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ELAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Bungarus fasciatus
Species Authority: (Schneider, 1801)
Common Name(s):
English Banded Krait
Synonym(s):
Pseudoboa fasciata Schneider, 1801
Taxonomic Notes: Bungarus fasciatus was described by Schneider in 1801 based on drawings and a description by Dr. Patrick Russell of specimens collected from Bengal, India (Smith 1943).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q., Thy, N., Vogel, G., Wogan, G., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Das, A., Thakur, S. & Mohapatra, P.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P., Achyuthan, N.S., Deepak, V., Kulkarni, N.U., Vyas, R., Jose, J. & Molur, S.
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large overall population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Bungarus fasciatus occurs from India north of 17º latitude across southern China to Vietnam, and southward to Sundaland (Smith 1943; Whitaker and Captain 2004; David and Vogel 1996). It has a wide elevational range, having been recorded from 20 to 2,300 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; India (Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Singapore; Thailand; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a widespread but never abundant species, with no evidence of widespread population declines. In Vietnam, however, it is considered to have declined by more than 50% over 10 years as a result of overharvesting (Dang et al. 2007), although it is still observed regularly (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. August 2011).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Bungarus fasciatus is nocturnal and terrestrial, and is known from varied habitats ranging from dry and moist deciduous forest, broadleaf forest and tropical scrub to human habitations and other disturbed or degraded habitats. It prefers open areas close to water. A clutch contains 4-14 eggs, and females stay with the eggs until they hatch.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is traded for medicinal purposes in Vietnam, including consumption in snake wine, where it is very popular (Stuart 2004; Somaweera and Somaweera 2010). In India, this species is not in use, although some snake charmers illegally collect and display this species. It is found in the skin trade, but in very small numbers (T. Chan-ard pers. comm. August 2011). There are historical reports of illegal export to Singapore and Hong Kong in large numbers, and this activity is presumed to be ongoing (G. Vogel pers. comm. August 2011). It is common in markets in China, where it is sold primarily for medicinal purposes (Kadoorie Farm 2004). Export of this species to China from Vietnam has been reported for markets in both Guangxi and Yunnan Provinces (Li and Li 1998, Li and Wang 1999). There is some export from Myanmar to China, however this snake is subject to local taboos in the former country and is rarely eaten or found for sale in markets (G. Wogan pers. comm. August 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is persecuted by people, and there is mortality through roadkill. There may be a localized threat from overharvesting, although there is little evidence of decline in most of this snake's range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In India, the banded krait is listed on Schedule IV of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is a protected species in Vietnam, where the national Red Data Book lists it as Endangered (Dang et al. 2007). This widespread snake has been reported from many protected areas. Trade in this species requires investigation, particularly in areas adjacent to and exporting this snake to China, in order to determine whether this activity is significant and requires regulation.

Citation: Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q., Thy, N., Vogel, G., Wogan, G., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Das, A., Thakur, S. & Mohapatra, P. 2013. Bungarus fasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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