Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Protobothrops mangshanensis
Species Authority: (Zhao, 1990)
Common Name(s):
English Mangshan Pit Viper, Mang Mountain Pit Viper, Mt. Mang Pit Viper
Trimeresurus mangshanensis Zhao, 1990
Zhaoermia mangshanensis (Zhao, 1990)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Zhou, Z.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bauder, J.
Listed as Endangered on the basis that this species has an extent of occurrence and area of occupancy both unlikely to exceed 300 km², it is known from two locations at risk from harvesting for the international pet trade, and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Rare (R)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known only from the type locality of Pingkeng, Mangshan (= Mount Mang), Hunan Province and Ruyuan, Guangdong Province, China (Zhao and Adler 1993), with an estimated extent of occurrence of 300 km². It has been recorded between 800 and 1,300 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
China (Guangdong, Hunan)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 1-300
Number of Locations: 2
Lower elevation limit (metres): 800
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: State Forestry Administration of China (2009) reported that the population of this rare species has only about 500 individuals.
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 lives in subtropical needle-leaf and broad-leaf mixture forest. Its diet consists of birds and rodents. It is an oviparous species, laying 20–27 eggs in June and July.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is in high demand for the international pet trade (Weissgold and Leuteritz 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal collection for the pet trade remains a threat to this species. Between the 1950s and the 1980s, deforestation within the species range significantly reduced its distribution.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in the Mangshan Natural Nature Reserve. Captive breeding has been successful in Germany, China and the US. Captive breeding started in 1994; by 2010, about 100 individuals had been born in captivity (Chen 2010).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Marginal  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.1. International level
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: Medium Impact: 7 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.4. Unintentional effects: (large scale)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity: Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score: Past Impact 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.3. Trade trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Chen Y. 2010. Captive breeding situation and problems of Trimeresurus mangshangensis. Snake of China 2010(1).

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

State Forestry Administation of China. 2009. Resources survey on key terrestrial wild animals in China. China Forestry Publishing House, Beijing.

Wang, S. and Xie, Y. (eds.). 2009. China Species Red List Vol. II - Vertebrates Part 2. Biodiversity Working Group of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, Beijing.

Weissgold, B. and Leuteritz, T. 2011. Presentation of the US. CITES Asian Snake Trade Workshop, Guangzhou, China.

Zhao, E. and Adler, K. 1993. Herpetology of China. Society for the study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Citation: Zhou, Z. 2012. Protobothrops mangshanensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T192140A2046130. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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