Asiatic Water Snake

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Recently, three persons were arrested by the Forest Department for hurting and killing an Asiatic water snake near Arakkonam in Ranipet, Tamil Nadu.

About the Asiatic Water Snake:

  • It is also known as the checkered keelback.
  • It is a common species in the subfamily Natricinae of the family Colubridae.
  • Habitat: It is primarily found in freshwater bodies like rivers, lakes, and ponds.
  • It is semi-aquatic and rarely ventures far from water. They lead a solitary life and are active both during the day and at night.
  • It is non-venomous and is generally considered harmless to humans.
  • It is oviparous which means that they lay their eggs.
  • Distribution: The species is endemic to Asia and found in countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia etc,
  • Conservation status:
    • IUCN: Least concern
    • CITES: Appendix III
    • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II 

Key Facts about the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972

  • There are Six Schedules in this act. These Schedules give a different standard of protection.
  • The Listed breeds and types of animals in Schedule I and Part II of Schedule II get supreme protection. Offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
  • Example: Himalayan Brown Bear, Indian Elephant etc.
  • The Listed breeds and types of animals in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also secured, but the penalties are comparatively much lower.
  • Example: Barking Deer, Falcons, Kingfisher, Tortoise etc.
  • Schedule V: Includes the animals which can be hunted.
  • Examples: Common Crow, Mice, Rats, Fruit Bats etc.
  • The plants, trees and crops mentioned in Schedule VI are banned from Cultivation and Planting.
  • Examples: Kuth, Red Vanda, Pitcher Plant etc


Q1) What is IUCN?

International Union for Conservation of Nature is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Source: Three persons were arrested for killing water snake near Arakkonam