|Town/Region||Lawachara National Park Sreemongol, Sangu-Matamuhuri Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Date||6 Feb 2018|
Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) are one of the largest snakes of the world, native to South and Southeast Asia. The species is declining throughout Asia and listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, and regulated on CITES Appendix 1. It is an extremely familiar and charismatic snake to most of the public because of the pet trade, and outside of captivity is known for their invasive status in the Florida Everglades. Consequently, almost all research on this species has been on the invasive population. Therefore, Burmese pythons are either seen by most people as inhabitants of glass cages or as ecological villains in Florida. As a result, there is not an appreciation for this snake in its native wild range primarily due to lack of knowledge of this species’ ecology and status in Asia.
With support from Rufford, and numerous small grants, we have conducted the first ever scientific study on Burmese pythons using radio telemetry in South Asia. We have collected key information on python home range, land use patterns, and human-python conflict in the human-dominated landscapes of the northeast Bangladesh.
Preliminary analyses from our radio-telemetry study indicates that:
1) Burmese pythons are often found in human settlements and kill livestock ,
2) Long distance translocations have produced increased movement, and
3) Translocated pythons have shown homing behavior.
Pythons in the human-dominated landscape often come into conflict with people as they frequently kill livestock -causing locals to act vengefully towards the species.
Translocation of these conflict animals might be the only realistic solution, considering dense human population in the country, however, translocation efforts must be done with caution. Long-distance translocations may affect the pythons’ natural history and result in increased movement and may eventually lead to mortality.
In the second phase, we plan to utilize these scientific insights to institutionalize proper conservation methodology of pythons in Bangladesh. To accomplish this, we will develop, publish, and distribute a Best Practices Manual for python management to build the capacity of the Forest Department staff, and villagers, in order to manage conflict pythons, as well as raise awareness through print and electronic media, and continue scientific research to gather information on country wide distribution of pythons, hunting and human-python conflict. We will conduct workshops and seminars to disseminate the information with the government agencies and publish the findings in peer-reviewed journals.
Read about Shahriar's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/shahriar_caesar_rahman or for more information contact: