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Naja mandalayensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ELAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Naja mandalayensis
Species Authority: Slowinski & Wüster, 2000
Common Name(s):
English Mandalay Cobra
Taxonomic Notes: The species was recently described to science (Slowinski and Wüster 2000).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Wogan, G. & Stuart, B.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Cox, N.A.
Justification:
This snake is endemic to the dry zone in central Myanmar, where it has an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 18,500 km2. Collection of snakes in this area is extensive, and the species is considered to occur at a single location defined by this threat, and where it is suffering a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals as a result of commercial exploitation for food and medicine; to a limited extent, degradation of forest and savannah within its range is also likely to represent a continuing decline in the extent and quality of the snake's habitat. It is therefore listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the central dry zone of Myanmar, spanning the Mandalay, Magwe, and Sagaing Divisions (Slowinski and Wüster 2000). The central dry zone is a well defined area with a characteristic climate, and an extent of less than 20,000 km2. The few known records of this recently-described snake have been taken from areas throughout this region, and it has an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 18,500 km2 based on known records.
Countries:
Native:
Myanmar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is known from only 20 specimens (Slowinski and Wüster 2000), some of which were obtained by commercial snake collectors. Population information is therefore lacking, although it is not a very common species. Pressure from harvesting is thought likely to be resulting in population declines, but the scale of decline cannot presently be quantified.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species' range corresponds to the central dry zone of Myanmar, an area that receives less than 1,000 mm of annual rainfall and is characterised by acacia and stunted dipterocarp savannas (Slowinski and Wüster 2000). The species has been collected in dry forests and dry acacia habitat.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Most specimens in the type series were obtained by commercial snake collectors (Slowinski and Wüster 2000), and so the species is in commercial trade. The international snake trade in this region is quite extensive, and this species is likely to be commonly collected for this purpose. It is traded mainly for medicinal use (especially for export to China), food and skin.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The genus Naja is in high demand in China for medicinal purposes, and evidence of this species in trade indicates that it may be at risk from collectors. This species' limited extent of occurrence within Myanmar's central dry zone and its apparently low population density suggests that it may well be vulnerable to overharvesting. Much of the habitat in the species' range has been converted to agricultural land; while the species appears tolerant of this modification (Slowinski and Wüster 2000) these activities may represent a decline in habitat quality. The whole dry zone is considered to represent one location due to the extensive network of trade and collection for this species throughout the area.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The genus Naja is listed in CITES Appendix II. Further information is needed on the distribution and population trends of, and harvesting levels in, this species.

Citation: Wogan, G. & Stuart, B. 2012. Naja mandalayensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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