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Live Webinar: Lockdown Talk series 1 Date: 05/06/2020
Manipur - A Paradise for Herpetology with snakebite problems


Organised by
Centre for Biodiversity Studies
Departments of Botany & Zoology, Manipur University.
In collaboration with
Mangolnganbi College, Ningthoukhong, Moirang College, Moirang &
Society for Nature Conservation, Research & Community Engagement, West Bengal
Catalysed and supported by Manipur Biodiversity Board (MBB)




Theme: Living in harmony with Nature:

“We are at war with nature, if we win, we are lost forever”

Man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself. Man has to learn to live in harmony with nature thereby protecting the environment and the biodiversity that inhabit the earth. Only when we learn to live in harmony with nature, we could expect nature to behave in the manner that has been there for several thousand years. When man indulges in affecting nature in pursuit of material wealth and to quench his thirst of greed, humankind will be forced to repent for generations like what we are seeing today, the wrath of nature in the form of global pandemic Covid-19.

The knowledge of herpetofauna of Northeast India is still very poor although the region is located at the confluence of Indo-Chinese, Indo-Malayan and Indian biogeographic region; and thus attracts special attention due to its rich faunal and floral diversity with derivatives from all these three bioregions. The region is also an important part of the Eastern Himalayas as well as Indo-Myanmar Biodiversity Hotspots which supports some of the critical and unique biota on earth. But being a part of the Global Biodiversity Hotspots does not immunise species from extinction. In fact, we are sitting in the hot bed of extinction despite biodiversity richness.

Out of the 102 odd species of snakes known in the Northeast India, some 18 species belonging to the families Elapidae and Viperidae are having venom of different strength and properties. But, most of the dangerously venomous bites are attributed to only three or four species of snakes which occur in and around human habitations and agricultural fields like Monocled Cobra, Black Krait and Pit Vipers etc.

Snakes and birds are chief allies in fighting insects and rodents to save our crops and the world will be desolated if it were not for the role of these snakes and birds as even a single blade of green leaf would not have emerged from plant without them. Without snakes, most of the crops will be ruined by rodents and insects. The snake venom has also now become a key component for life saving drugs for humankind
 
It is important to note that no snake in India can kill a healthy adult human instantaneously. If first aid and proper medication is given in the nick of time, death is unlikely to occur even from a dangerously venomous snakebite. Obviously, majority of snakebite deaths are result of wrong treatment by local healers. We should never kill a snake irrespective of whether the species is venomous or non-venomous.

Ecosystems are complex and diverse, with many levels and intricate relationships between organisms. Removing any level from an ecosystem disrupts a delicate balance that may have evolved over millions of years. These systems are comprised of a series of checks and balances between predator and prey, that tend to balance the whole. The removal of the top predators in an ecosystem has several impacts, some of which are expected, and others surprising. With the webinar let us ignite our mind, lit the lamp of awareness to live in harmony with nature and fellow species as we cannot survive alone on this earth.

About the Speaker:

Visha Santra is one of the finest young herpetologists of the country based in Kolkata and Hoogly District of West Bengal with a Post Graduate in Environmental Science and Biodiversity. He travelled widely in the country and abroad for field research in snake and snake bite problems, particularly in South East Asia, Shri Lanka and North East India.
He has been associating with Captive and Field Herpetology, Wales, United Kingdom as Co-Founder and Co-Director; and as a Founder & Executive Member - Society for Nature Conservation, Research and Community Engagement, West Bengal, India. A number of research papers on systematic studies of reptile diversity with special focus on venomous species in North and Northeast, India have been published in repute journals like Nature. Recently, he has also given invited lecture on taxonomy of snakes and problems of snake bites in United States.

 


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Live Webinar: Manipur - A Paradise for Herpetology with snakebite problems
5th June, World Environment Day,2020: Time for Nature
Time of the webinar will be intimated on 4th June,2020