Tarantula, the hairy spiders found in some parts of Kerala, it is believed, is being traded as a pet and often find its way to the international markets.
The illicit trade of such species and untrammelled exploitation of some medicinal plants would be regulated soon with a State-specific conservation data of its threatened species.
Species specialists are hoping to come out with an interim report on the regional-level data on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes by January end. The list will also speak about the conservation status of fishes, odonates, spiders, freshwater crabs and molluscs found in land and water.
It is after a gap of few years that the State is attempting to draw up the list. A similar effort was carried out by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board way back in 2013. The data thus prepared by the board was submitted to the National Biodiversity Authority, said K. P. Laladhas, former member-secretary of the board.
Expert groups have been working on the ‘red list’ prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature for mining out the regional data. While evaluating the available data, they would also provide the latest data that was available with them to update the list and for future evaluations, said P. M. Sureshan, the officer-in-charge of the Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Centre, Kozhikode, who is coordinating the programme.
While extensive data is available in the case of some groups, there is data deficiency in case of few others. The expert groups have been asked to put in all the available information on species to the list. The globally accepted tools for assessing the conservation status of animals will be used for drawing up the list. The board is funding the project.
Some species, which may not be globally threatened, might be threatened in Kerala and the State needs to put in measures to protect its habitat and address the conservation threats. The National Biodiversity Act mandated the State boards to prepare such plans, said Dr. Sureshan.