University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka.

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Tag: Enviromental Service


Life of snake rescuer

The reptile keeping hobby is not as well developed as keeping dogs or cats. Recently I met an amazing person who rescue snakes from all over the country who is like a guardian for serpents. From his childhood take care on serpents is one of his main hobbies in life. Even his room is a room for around 15 serpents as well.

You might think why I’m calling this person an amazing…

Yes, he is amazing. He sacrifices his time and money for this great volunteer service which most of the people will absolutely rejects or scared.

What Exactly is the Role of a Rescuer?

A rescuer is a person who rescues something from harm or danger. In our case, we look at this from both, the human’s and the animal’s perspective. Snakes do strike fear in people’s minds and with good reason. A large number of people die of snakebite every year and as a result, snakes are killed on sight.

In this case both man and animal are losers. Our idea of a rescuer is a person who resolves this issue. We do this by educating people and helping them understand the animal and ways to avoid a conflict situation. This is done by involving local people in our project and helping them understand the significance of snakes in the ecosystem and the benefits that farmers get by having snakes around.

So, I met this amazing person for a donation of storage boxes for serpents.

Why storage boxes for snakes?

As the plastic storage boxes can make a good environment for the serpents, the snake rescuers are recommended to keep the snakes in these containers. The problem is with the current prevailing situation of the country the prices of the storage containers are not affordable for the snake rescuers. The no of snake rescues is around 20 per month. Handling everything with relate to that is difficult for them to achieve as they are also a part of a worthy cause to the environment. And the behavior of large snakes becomes a threat to the little snakes as well.

Pros of Keeping Reptiles in Plastic Bins:

Sanitary. The plastic tubs are very easy to clean and great for getting animals through quarantine periods or illness.

Cheaper than buying multiple tanks or reptile cages for growing snakes or lizards.

Good at keeping humidity levels up.

Education – This is the Most Crucial Part of Every Rescue.

On-site awareness programs are conducted to help people understand the ecology of the snake. This is usually done after each rescue. Education material is also provided to all present. The main aim of this is to facilitate people to coexist with snakes.

Well this might be interesting for snake lovers and might be another horror dream for some other.

Happy reading !

Penned By: Rtr. Dilina Kosgoda


Why are we afraid of snakes?

Serpente is a novel initiative by Rotaract Alumni Mora with the objective of raising awareness of serpents and the importance of protecting serpents. There are 294 species of snakes in the world and 96 are found in Sri Lanka. Of these, 50 species are endemic to the island. There are 13 species of sea snakes and 10 species of blind snakes in Sri Lanka. Most of the threats to Serpentes in Sri Lanka are formulated by the activities of humans. Many people believe that all snakes are deadly venomous and dangerous. Based on this belief, snakes are killed by humans, but most of the time, even nonvenomous snakes are killed due to this assumption.

Serpente webinar series became a huge impact on serpent lovers. And it’s good teaching for everyone who believes the traditional myths about serpents.

Why do you need at least little knowledge of serpents?

Humans in various cultures have feared snakes, provoking an aversion and persecution that hinders conservation efforts for these reptiles. Such fact suggests that conservation strategies for snakes should consider the interactions and perceptions of the local population towards these animals.

The first chapter of the webinar series has completed on 2nd of February as a virtual session by the Independent Researcher on Herpetology, Mr. Sanjaya Kanishka Bandara. Over 200+ participants were registered for the event and it mainly covers the basics of serpents. The session mainly focused on snake awareness based on the evolution of snakes, the ecology of snakes, the references for snake lovers, snake venom, and differentiation between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. The Q/A was also done along with the session which was an interactive session for the participants. The questions from the school children were interesting and provide a clear image of our younger generation’s responsibility towards the protection of serpents.

Why Categorization and Identification of Serpents are important?

Snake bites in Sri Lanka cause death to nearly 100 people annually. Administering the appropriate anti-venom treatment for snake bite victims gets delayed causing complications as a result of the inability of people to identify the snake. Incorrect identification of snakes also causes threats to the existence of harmless snakes threatening the biodiversity of Sri Lanka.

The second chapter of the webinar series has completed on the 9th of February as a virtual session by the Independent Researcher on Herpetology, Mr. Sanjaya Kanishka Bandara. Over 200+ participants were also registered for the session which covers the tips to identify the serpents.

The accurate identification of snakes is particularly important for healthcare workers to diagnose and treat victims of snakebite envenoming. Further, snake identification is vital for the general population, especially for those who live in areas of high snakebite incidence. Owing to the great diversity of snakes and the superficial similarities between some species, the correct identification of these reptiles is often difficult. Therefore, the identification of snake species is challenging for healthcare workers, biologists, naturalists, and the general population.

Identification of snakes creates a strong support system for the medical sector as well. Physical identification of the offending snake certainly would assist the physician in clinical decision-making in treating snakebite victims. Hence, making the offending snake specimen available for medical staff for identification should be encouraged. However, the non-availability of the snake for identification would not drastically alter the routine management of snakebite victims in Sri Lanka.

The resource person made the conversation interactive by engaging the audience to identify some serpents in the slides and gave tips for easy identification.

Don’t you take snake bites as seriously?

If you are unfamiliar with the different types of snakes and unable to distinguish between venomous and non-venomous ones, it can be difficult to know how to respond in the event of a bite. Always treat a snake bite as if it’s venomous.

The third chapter of the webinar series has completed on the 16th of February as a virtual session by the Member of Medical Association Snakebite Committee, Dr. Lahiru Kalpage.

Specific measures related to housekeeping, outdoor work, healthcare-seeking and home health practices have been identified as determinants of primary and secondary prevention of snakebite envenoming.

Penned By: Rtr. Dilina Kosgoda


Martello Mangrove Plantation

Mangroves are among the most productive ecosystems in the world. In Sri Lanka mangroves occur along the sheltered inertial coastlines associated with estuaries and lagoons. The largest tracts of mangrove habitats in Sri Lanka are found in Puttlam Lagoon, Kala Oya basin and Trincomalee. Mangroves are associated with woody, seed-bearing and highly specialized plants. Mangroves exist in harsh environments with anaerobic soils, tidal currents, high salinity, high temperature and strong winds 30 to 35 0C. Therefore, to survive and grow under such environmental conditions mangrove plants have developed many morphological and physiological adaptations

Mangrove Eco-system is also important as a habitat for fauna including birds by providing food and resting and roosting sites to a number of wetland birds including migrant ones. Human population living near the coast also have benefited from the mangroves as it provides many benefits for their livelihoods. With the increase of human population, the demand for these vital Eco-systems has been increased to a rather unsustainable level and thus the depletion of the resource in many areas of the country.

The floristic diversity of mangrove Eco-system in Sri Lanka is rich compared to many countries. This is due to the diversity of climatic, edaphic and hydrological aspects of the coastal region. Mangrove species of 29 different types have been identified in Sri Lanka so far.

In addition, the diversity of mangrove associates is also a unique feature in the mangroves of this country. The rich species diversity has given a more established less fragile character to the mangrove Eco-system. This could be seen in abandoned prawn farms in Puttalam District where pioneer mangroves are growing with other pioneer species. Table 1 illustrates the floristic diversity of true mangroves.

Rotaract Alumni Mora extending the project scope to mangrove conservation under the project “Marathon Towards Greenery” organized a mangrove awareness session along with a mangrove plantation which was successfully completed on 18th of March 2022.

Penned By : Rtr. Kavinda Senarathne