SHIVAMOGGA: A rare species of snake —Bibron’s Coral — was sighted on the premises of Range forest office of Tirthahalli town recently. Range forest officer P R Manjunath, probationer RFO Shivaraj Mathad, deputy RFOs Pascal and Halesh, forest guard Malatesh and peon Santhosh were surprised to see the rare snake.
Manjunath sent the pictures of the snake to biodiversity researcher Manjunath Nayak and C R Naik of Karnataka Forest department to confirm if it was a rare snake. Confirming the name, Manjunatha Nayak said: “Bibron’s Coral is a rare snake species and is found in Western Ghats, which is considered as a hot spot of rich biodiversity place in the world.”
In a release, RFO Manjunath said a similar kind of snake was found dead on a road last year in Kumbarvada beat near Joida and C R Naik noticed the rare snake species a couple of times in Dandeli range too. These two incidents were recorded first time of sighting. This is the second such sighting on the premises of range forest office, he said.
The rare species is on the verge of extinction and conservation of Western Ghats is the need of the hour to protect this and many other species of animals and plants, said Manjunath Nayak, a biodiversity researcher.
Bibron’s Coral snake is a venomous snake and its habitat includes hills and plains of moist, wet and evergreen forests of Western ghats. It spend most of its life as a borrower and comes occassionally on ground for foraging and mating, said Manjunath Nayak.
The species is named after Gabriel Bibron, a French herpatologist who discovered it for the first time.
It is found in Kerala, Chennai and Karnataka. It is usually vibrant reddish-brown mixed with purplish tint and patterns of bands or dark purplish-brown colour top portion.