King Cobra Conservation
The King Cobra is listed under the Schedule-II of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and catergorized as "Vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Once believed to be locally extinct in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh (Eastern Ghats), our team had been documenting consistent reports of kills from across the region since 2008. The Eastern Ghats are discontinuous range of mountains with predominantly moist deciduous and thorny scrub habitats. A unique habitat compared to known wetter habitats of king cobras. Using an open responsive framework, we aim to study the ecology of king cobras of the Eastern Ghats.
Being an apex predator, king cobras are indicative of the health of herpetofauna of the region. We pioneered a unique "Snake Savior" Program wherein we train select community members in not only rescuing king cobras from human habiatons but also conserve the breeeding habitat of the species by working with the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department and other stakeholders.
For the first time in the conservation history of the eastern ghats region, we have been successfully rescuing king cobras from human-dominated landscapes through our snake saviors stationed across the region and also protected a king cobra nest for the very first time in the region with help from the local community.