|Date||14 Apr 2003|
India has as many as 236 snakes. Some like the King cobra are threatened while others like the Indian python are considered endangered. Both are used by the country’s snake charmers for their livelihood. India’s snake charmers belong to a semi-nomadic tribe know as the Kalbeliyas and they use endangered snakes to entertain street audiences and earn a living. Despite increasing enforcement of wildlife legislation by government agencies, the Kalbeliyas continue to practice their traditional occupation largely because of a lack of options.
This project aims to research whether the use of snakes by snake charmers is at sustainable levels or not. It will initiate other livelihood options for selected snake charmer communities across India. The team aims to develop options that safeguard the traditions and culture associated with their profession but in ways which could assist biodiversity conservation. In the long run the project hopes to influence the government to develop a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for such communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihood.
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