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NE States lack data on snake diversity
 IMPHAL, Nov 7 - The Northeastern States lack proper data and documents relating to snake diversity, according to wellknown reptile consultant Vishal Santra.

 “The snake’s related data are not available for NE. So we need to generate such data to work on conserving our biodiversity,” said Santra, a researcher in snake projects in India. “Saving and conserving snakes mean protecting our crop land as snakes mostly prey on rodents”, he added.

After attending a public interaction trip to Tamenglong district headquarters, Santra, 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.

The freelance herpetologist, who works for a society – Simultala Conservationists, opined that the public should be made aware that anti-snake venom is available in government hospitals.

Stating that there are many snake species in NE 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 informed that they have conducted a study in Mizoram on the State’s snake diversity. “So far, we have found 86 species of snakes including eight venomous ones which are not similar to species found in the country,” he added. “So we are planning to do some study in Manipur and Tamenglong in particular considering its biodiversity, next season.”

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