World Snake Day 2020 | UPSC
World Snake Day 2020
WHY IN NEWS:
Dozens of snake species facing peril, say herpetologists
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Conservation of Flora and Fauna
For PRELIMS go through the aim and treatment of Snake bite .
For MAINS look out for habitat fragmentation and how climate change has affected snake population .
The day is an opportunity to celebrate snakes and raise awareness about their conservation.
Snakes are found in every continent except Antarctica in the sea, forests, deserts, prairies.
SNAKES DO WARM UP
- Snakes rely on the environment to regulate their body temperature.
- They spend as long in the warm sun as they need to in order to get warm, and when they become too warm, they find shade to cool off.
- They shed their skin three to six times a year.
- Snakes maintain balance in the food web and therefore keep ecosystems healthy.
- Snakes are celebrated or worshiped in cultures around the globe.
- Snakes have occupied a prominent space in popular mindscape for ages, but that hasn’t been all good for the reptiles.
- Dozens of snake species, in India and across the world, face existential threats.
- Other threats facing snakes today include climate change, disease and of course, human antagonism.
- There are plenty of species waiting to be discovered in India’s North East.
- For instance, Salazar’s pit viper was recently discovered in Arunachal Pradesh .
- But there were constraints facing researchers, mostly difficult working conditions, lack of permits and others.
- About 2-3 years ago, there were 280 species of snakes in India.
- Now, there are more than 300.
SNAKE BITE TREATMENT (WHO)
- Immediately move away from the area where the bite occurred.
- Remove anything tight from around the bitten part of the body to avoid harm if swelling occurs.
- Reassure the victim, as most venomous snake bites do not cause immediate death.
- Immobilize the person completely and transport the person to a health facility as soon as possible
- Applying pressure at the bite site with a pressure pad may be suitable in some cases.
- Avoid traditional first aid methods or herbal medicines.
- Vomiting may occur, so place the person on their left side in the recovery position.
- Closely monitor airway and breathing and be ready to resuscitate if necessary
- “There are over 3,500 species of snakes in the world and more being described right now.
- In the past couple of years, 20 new species have been added to India’s list.
- We don’t know anything about sea snakes.