Naja atra 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Elapidae

Scientific Name: Naja atra Cantor, 1842
Common Name(s):
English Chinese Cobra

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2d ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2011-08-30
Assessor(s): Ji, X. & Li, P.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bowles, P.
This species is listed as Vulnerable in view of a population reduction in China of at least 30% observed over a ten year period where the causes of reduction (habitat loss, hunting) have not ceased. Populations in other countries may face similar threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in southeastern China (including Hainan, Hong Kong, Macao), Taiwan, and in northern Viet Nam and Lao PDR. In China it has been recorded from Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Hong Kong, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang (Zhao 2006). It is found from 70 to 1,630 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
China (Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang); Hong Kong; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macao; Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):70
Upper elevation limit (metres):1630
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species has decreased by 30 to 50% over the past 20 years. It is a common species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits plains, hills and low mountains. It can be found in agricultural fields, at road sides, near ponds. It is often diurnal. It feeds on frogs, snakes, birds, rats, lizards, loaches, eels, fish etc. It is oviparous, and lays 5-28 eggs from June to August. Ji et al. (2005) studied geographical variation in female reproductive traits and the trade-off between the size and number of eggs. They found that maternal size was a major determinant of the reproductive investment in all populations, with larger females producing not only more but also larger eggs.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):1-3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Lau (1995) reported that this species is one of the top three species found in export from mainland China to Hong Kong. These snakes are used as food. Ranching and captive breeding has been successful in Zhejiang Province (Conservation and Management Station of Zhejiang Province for Wild Fauna and Flora 2010). Li and Li (1998) reported that Naja naja appeared in trade from Viet Nam to China during 1993-1996. This might include both Naja atra and Naja kaouthia. 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 1405.5 ton.; these snakes came from China.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overexploitation and pollution (agrochemicals) are the main threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix II and its international trade is regulated accordingly. There is a need to strengthen national conservation initiatives. It is found in several protected areas.

Citation: Ji, X. & Li, P. 2014. Naja atra. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T192109A2040894. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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