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Ahaetulla dispar

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA COLUBRIDAE

Scientific Name: Ahaetulla dispar
Species Authority: (Günther, 1864)
Common Name(s):
English Günther's Vine Snake
Synonym(s):
Dryophis dispar (Günther, 1864)
Tragops dispar Günther, 1864
Taxonomic Notes: Ahaetulla dispar was described by Günther in 1864 as Tragops dispar based on specimens collected from Anaimalai Hills, Western Ghats (Smith 1943).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-02-28
Assessor(s): Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Achyuthan, N.S. & Mohapatra, P.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P., Deepak, V., Kulkarni, N.U., Sawant, N.S., Shankar, G., Aengals, A., Thakur, S., Vyas, R., Jose, J. & Molur, S.
Justification:
The species has an extent of occurrence little less than 14,000 km, and habitats outside protected areas where it occurs are suffering a continuing decline due to the expansion of commercial plantations. Although considered to occur at three locations defined by this threat, it is listed as Near Threatened rather than Vulnerable as it occurs in protected areas and is subject to no threats in the northern part of its range. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion B1ab(iii).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ahaetulla dispar is endemic to the wet, cool montane tracts of India's Western Ghats and has been reported from Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu to Cardamom Hills, Kerala (Hutton 1949, Ishwar et al. 2001, Kumar et al. 2002, Whitaker and Captain 2004, Hutton and David 2008). A report from Coorg in Karnataka requires confirmation; this is provisionally considered valid and is included in this assessment. It has been recorded from 609 to 1,981 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common where it occurs.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Ahaetulla dispar occurs in fringes of semi evergreen hill forest and shola patches. It is diurnal and usually encountered on grass clumps, on shrubs and on trees. It feeds on lizards, frogs and other snakes. It is ovoviviparous, with a brood size of 4-11 young (Whitaker and Captain 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not in use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is considered to occur in three locations (one above the Palghat Gap and two below), where the sets of threat (both directly to the species and to its habitats) differ. Outside of protected areas, in the southern part of its range, this species is threatened by habitat conversion through expansion of agriculture (cardamom and pepper). Animals are killed on sight by local people.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. It occurs in many protected areas, including Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu; Periyar Tiger Reserve and Eravikulam National Park in Kerala. Further survey work is needed to understand its biology, ecology, population status and trends.

Citation: Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Achyuthan, N.S. & Mohapatra, P. 2013. Ahaetulla dispar. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 July 2014.
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