Ahaetulla dispar 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Ahaetulla dispar (Günther, 1864)
Common Name(s):
English Günther's Vine Snake
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.
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 occurrence:
India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:13894
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Number of Locations:3
Lower elevation limit (metres):609
Upper elevation limit (metres):1981
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common where it occurs.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

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.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
4. Grassland -> 4.7. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

Bibliography [top]

Hutton, A.F. 1949. Notes on the snakes and mammals of the High Wavy Mountains, Madura district, S. India. Part I – Snakes. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 48(3): 454–460.

Hutton, A.F. and P. David. 2008. Note on a collection of snakes from south India, with emphasis on the snake fauna of the Meghamalai hills (High Wavy Mountains). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 105(3): 299-316.

Ishwar, N.M., Chellam, R. and Kumar, A. 2001. Distribution of forest floor reptilies in the rainforest of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, South India. Current Science 80(3): 413-418.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Kumar, A., Chellam, R., Choudhury, B.C., Mudappa, D., Vasudevan, K., Ishwar, N.M. and Noon, B. 2002. Impact of rainforest fragmentation on small mammals and herpetofauna in the Western Ghats, South India. Wildlife Institute of India.

Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, including the whole of the Indo-Chinese region. Vol. III. Serpentes. Taylor and Francis, London.

Whitaker, R. and Captain, A. 2004. Snakes of India. The Field Guide. Draco Books, India.

Citation: Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Achyuthan, N.S. & Mohapatra, P. 2013. Ahaetulla dispar. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T172589A1347499. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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