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North East states lack data on snakes diversity

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

By a Correspondent
Imphal, Nov 11,

The north eastern states lacks proper data and documents relating to snakes diversity, according to well known reptile consultant Vishal Santra.
“The snake’s related data are not available for north east India. So we need to generate such datas to work on importance of snake in conserving our biodiversity,” says Vishal,a researcher in snake projects in India. “Saving and conserving snakes means protecting our crop land as snakes mostly prey on rodents.”
After attending a public interaction trip to Tamenglong district headquarters, 150 km west of Imphal, Vishal who hails from Hooghly district of West Bengal said, rodent population would increase dramatically which would affect crop production if the world’s snakes were eliminated.Apart from the threat to food security posed by rodent population growth, increased disease outbreaks would put a heavy burden on the health services of many countries, especially developing ones.
This freelance herpetologist works for a registered society -Simultala Conservationists opined that the public should be aware that anti-snake venom is available in government hospitals.
Stating that there are many snake species in NE India and most of them are non-venomous, he said, “But we still need to do proper study as most of the information available about snakes in the country hardly reflects snakes of this region.”
The conservationist also informed that they’ve conducted a research in Mizoram to study the state’s snake diversity. “So far, we’ve found 86 species of snakes including 8 venomous snakes which are not similar to other species available in the country,” the 32-year-old environmentalist added. “So we are planning to do some study in Manipur and Tamenglong in particular considering its healthy biodiversity, next season.”
It is observed that absence of proper data of snake-bite cases has also resulted in meagre distribution of anti-venom serums in the region. On the other hand very few pharmacies here kept such vaccines because of its less demand etc while some physicians are reportedly reluctant to prescribe the available anti-snake venom vaccines to the victims with reasons known to them.So some of the snake bite victims goes to paramilitary forces camps.
“We’ll be discussing such issues in the upcoming district and state level meetings under National Health Mission programmes,” a senior medical Officer said when sought his comment on such issues in hospitals.
The National Health Profile of 2018 reported that Assam recorded the maximum number of snake-bite cases in the Northeast from January to December 2017. In 2017, there were 810 snake-bite cases in Assam with no death records. However Meghalaya which has a total of 244 snake-bite cases has two death cases while altogether 505 snake-bite cases with one death reported from Tripura. Mizoram reported 265 cases, Nagaland 124, Manipur 109,Sikkim 101 and Arunachal Pradesh 24 cases respectively without any death reports in 2017.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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