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Reptiles in Kanha Tiger Reserve

Introduction

Read about reptiles in Kanha tiger reserve forest of Madhya Pradesh. Reptilia is a separate class which comprises cold-blooded amniotic vertebrates which are exothermic or poikilothermic secretive creatures. Reptiles have crawling mode of locomotion which means for movement from one place to another, they do crawling. They can be dirunal (active in daytime) or nocturnal (active in night). Reptile species can be seen on lands, trees or even on freshwaters & sea. Thier respiration system work by lungs (pulmonary) and they can be oviparous or viviparous. Their body is covered either by scales or shields which is sometimes soft in touch but in some reptiles, it is seen hard also.

Reptiles in Kanha

If we go by the past studies on reptiles in Central India, we will notice that more than 39 species/sub-species of reptiles are found in Central India, which comprises Madhya Pradesh state, Chattisgarh state, some parts of adjoining Maharashtra state. As per study of Agrawal (1976), here in Kanha tiger reserve area, 8 reptile species were recorded. In year 1995, Sanyal & Sur recorded 22 species of reptiles in Kanha conservation area. The main species of reptiles include Cobra, Common krait, Russell's viper, Saw-scaled viper, and monitor lizard and sometime the Copper-headed snake (Elaphe radiata) is also seen, which is rare for the climate of the Park. At per available records, 39 species/subspecies of reptiles are present in Kanha tiger reserve area. In single survey, we may not be able to find them all but 80% can be checklisted in one round of survey.

indian cobra kanha national parkThe Indian Cobra: Forms its hood by spreading the cervical ribs of the neck region and is deadly poisonous. It spreads its hood, makes a hissing sound and raises its head when alarmed. It is frequently found or near water and is a strong swimmer. Eclectic in habit and absent in deserts and hills above 1800 m., it is usually not aggressive; the young-ones though, are much more dangerous than adults, being more easily excited and prone to attack. Feeds mostly on rats, frogs, toads and is an invetarate egg-stealer. Cobra bite is not always fatal, cases of recovery equaling, if not exceeding, cases of death.

Russel's viper: The Russel's viper is thick with a body measuring up to 5 feet. Unlike the krait and the cobra, the fangs are long and foldable. It is nocturnal and deadly poisonous.

Krait: Two species The Common Indian Krait and the Banded Krait occur in the kanha National Park. The common krait is slow moving but extremely poisonous and is frequently found near or in water. Bites only on provocation but cases are known of people sleeping on ground being bitten when unknowingly rolling on or placing a limb in their sleep on a krait moving nearby. Venom is more toxic than that of Cobra and usually fatal. The banded krait is much less poisonous, nocturnal and very rarely sighted.

monitor lizard in kanha national parkMonitor Lizard : Monitor lizards also known as bayawak or goannas, genus Varanus, are members of the family Varanidae. Varanus is a group of carnivorous lizards which includes the heaviest living lizard, the Komodo dragon, and the water monitor which is the longest lizard in the world. The closest living relatives are the anguid and helodermatid lizards.

Monitor lizards are generally large reptiles, although some can be as small as 12 centimeters in length. They have long necks, powerful tails and claws, and well-developed limbs. Most species are terrestrial, but arboreal and semi-aquatic monitors are also known. Almost all monitor lizards are carnivorous, although Varanus prasinus and Varanus olivaceus are also known to eat fruit.[2] They are oviparous, laying from 7 to 37 eggs, which they often cover with soil or protect in a hollow tree stump


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