Study

An education programme and establishment of a citizen scientist network to reduce killing of non-venomous snakes in Malappuram district, Kerala, India

  • Published source details Balakrishnan P. (2010) An education programme and establishment of a citizen scientist network to reduce killing of non-venomous snakes in Malappuram district, Kerala, India. Conservation Evidence, 7, 9-15.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use education and/or awareness campaigns to improve behaviour towards reptiles and reduce threats

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use education and/or awareness campaigns to improve behaviour towards reptiles and reduce threats

    A study in 2002–2009 in mixed agricultural and forest habitats and human settlements in Kerala, India (Balakrishnan 2010) found that educating the general public about snake identification, in particular the differences between venomous and non-venomous species, and creating a network of local snake experts lead to the prevention of a large number of non-venomous snakes being killed directly by humans. Results were not statistically tested. Over years following an education program and the creation of a network of local snake experts, local snake experts reported that they intervened to save 276 non-venomous snakes from being killed. The number of snakes that experts reported they saved from killing increased from 20 individuals in 2004 to 60 individuals in 2009. In 2002–2003, presentations about the reptiles in the region, the benefits of snakes, and how to identify them were given in 21 schools, five colleges and at least three villages. People reached by the program included 50 teachers, >400 students, 90 youth club members, and approximately 250 members of the general public. Participants were classed as local experts/citizen scientists (200 people) if they became actively involved in identifying snakes as part of the program, as well as monitoring and preventing snake kills in 2004–2009.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
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