Snakes are farmer friendly. Farmers should be snake friendly.

With this being underscored a two-day national seminar on ‘Conservation significance of snakes, snake bite, first aid and treatment,’ organized by the Government Arts College got underway here on Thursday.

Inaugurating the seminar the Project Director, Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) Srinivas R. Reddy said that the role of snakes in ensuring food grain security was highly understated.

Adverting to the part snakes play in maintaining the ecological balance particularly in the agricultural eco system, he said that knowledge of handling snakes was poor in the country.

Out of about 283 known snake species in India only around 62 are poisonous.

Emphasizing the need to enhance awareness about first aid in cases relating to snake bites, Mr.Reddy said that in most cases death was due to shock.

Importance

College principal A. Manoharan who presided over the function said that every link in the eco system should be given equal importance. Stressing the importance of research. he said that it was an inextricable part of education.

District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris North B. Sugirtharaj Koilpillai said that trade in snake skins which was very high in the 1970s had come down steadily and now it was almost nil. He urged farmers to protect snakes.

District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris South, C. Badhrasamy said that efforts should be made to demolish the myths and superstitions connected with snakes.

Head of Department, Zoology and Wildlife Biology, Government Arts College, J. Ebanesar said that all sections of the society should know how to handle snake bites.He commended the people of the Nilgiris for being conservation conscious.

The president, OSAI, K. Kalidasan spoke.

Organizing secretary, P. Kannan welcomed the gathering.