Shastry V. Mallady

To conserve the species found in Nagamalai

Snake population found to be increasing

Survey traces 19 varieties in the area

MADURAI: A proposal to establish a snake park at Nagamalai here is being submitted to the Forest Department and National Biodiversity Authority in view of the rich snake biodiversity found in the area through a six-month survey.

The Centre for Biodiversity at the Madurai Kamaraj University is forwarding the proposal to the Government on the need to conserve snake species through an exclusive park and also thereby create an eco-tourism spot near the city.

K. Muthuchelian, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Madurai Zone, said on Tuesday that the snake population in Nagamalai area was found to be increasing during a survey undertaken in the last six months.

“The name Nagamalai itself suggests that the area is linked to snakes and much is said about the place in mythology. So, it would augur well if an initiative for creating a snake park is taken,” he said.

As per the survey details compiled with the help of local/traditional snake-catchers, 19 varieties are commonly found in Nagamalai Hills and they include venomous types like Russell’s Viper, Indian Krait, Indian Cobra and Saw-Scaled Viper.

Dr. Muthuchelian, who is also the Director of Centre for Biodiversity and Forest Studies at Madurai Kamaraj University, said that the objective of the snake survey was to know the population, distribution, diversity, size, behaviour and life span of each snake variety.

“The expertise of traditional snake catchers can also be taken in the management of the park,” he said.

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