Python kyaiktiyo 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Pythonidae

Scientific Name: Python kyaiktiyo Zug, Gotte & Jacobs, 2011
Taxonomic Source(s): Zug, G.R., Gotte, S.W. and Jacobs, J.F. 2011. Pythons in Burma: Short-tailed python (Reptilia: Squamata). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 124(2): 112-136.
Taxonomic Notes: This very recently-described snake is a member of the Python curtus species complex (with P. curtus, P. brongersmai, and P. breitensteini), and was briefly considered to represent a disjunct record of P. brongersmai (Zug et al. 2011).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-09-19
Assessor(s): Wogan, G. & Chan-Ard, T.
Reviewer(s): Auliya, M. & Bowles, P.
The species is known only from the holotype specimen from Kyaiktiyo Wildlife Sanctuary at Yetagon Myaung, in Myanmar. It was collected in 2003 and has not been found again despite repeated surveys. Very little is known about its ecology, full distribution, use and threats, thus further research is recommended especially in uses and intensity of trade for this species. Python species are heavily traded, mainly for skin and used by people for food and medicine but also for the illegal pet trade so it is very likely this species is either presently used for these purposes or is at immediate future risk from these activities. Due to its restricted range (only known from one site) and the very likely threat of trade and use this species is listed as Vulnerable under criterion D2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species is known only from the holotype, from Kyaiktiyo Wildlife Sanctuary at Yetagon Myaung, along the western face of the Tenghyo Range, Mon State, Myanmar (Zug et al. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Upper elevation limit (metres):390
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species is known only from the holotype female, which was collected in 2003 (Zug et al. 2011). No information is available on its population, and despite repeated surveys in the area the species has not been recorded again (G. Wogan pers. comm. August 2011).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The known specimen was found in a small dry streambed in an area of low secondary scrub near a small betel palm plantation, at approximately 390 m elevation (Zug et al. 2011). Six flexibly shelled eggs were contained in her oviducts (Zug et al. 2011).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no information available on use and trade of this species. However, other species in the P. curtus species complex are heavily exploited for the international pet trade and for international trades in skins and medicine, as are other python species in Myanmar, and animals from Myanmar may be included in exports from other countries in the region (M. Auliya pers. comm. December 2011). It is unknown whether historical exports of Python brongersmai from Thailand have included this species (M. Auliya pers. comm. December 2011). Pythons are also used as a local food source. More research is needed to determine whether this species is used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species may be threatened in the future by harvesting for food, leather, and traditional medicine purposes. Given the value of pythons in the international pet trade, and the beauty and rarity of this newly described species, it is very likely to be in high demand for the international pet trade. The species appears to be tolerant of some forest disturbance based on the locality of the holotype (and only known) specimen.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in Kyaiktyiyo Wildlife Sanctuary, Mon State, Myanmar (Zug et al. 2011). As with all pythons (except the Indian Python Python molurus), the species is listed on CITES Appendix II. Proactive efforts should be made immediately to curb possible exploitation for the international pet trade, which can have a devastating effect on newly-described, charismatic, rare species of herpetofauna (Stuart et al. 2006). Exporting snakes from Myanmar is forbidden so any international trade in this species would be through illegal means. Research is needed to obtain further records of this snake, to clarify its distribution, population status, natural history and to identify whether it is exposed to any other threats.

Citation: Wogan, G. & Chan-Ard, T. 2012. Python kyaiktiyo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T199854A2614411. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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