Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Major ecological happenings of the week (September 23-30)

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 30 September 2019
A Cat Snake near Coimbatore. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New snake species named after Uddhav Thackeray’s son

A new species of snake was named after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s son Tejas, according to a media report.

The snake, called Thackeray’s Cat Snake (Boiga thackerayi), was discovered in the northern Western Ghats, in a few localities around the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve and near Koyna in Satara district.

‘Cat snakes’ are named so because the pupils of their eyes resemble those of cats, with vertical pupils. The Thackeray Cat Snake is non-venomous, nocturnal and arboreal. It mostly feeds on tree frogs.

The Thackeray Cat Snake has been discovered after 125 years, with the last such snake having been found in 1894.

Tejas Thackeray, who is a wildlife researcher, first identified the snake and collected crucial information about it, which he gave to other researchers, who put it down in a study. The research was published in the journal of the Bombay Natural History Society.

Seven wild elephants poisoned in Sri Lanka

A total of seven wild elephants were found dead at a forest reserve near Sigiriya, in central Sri Lanka’s highlands, a media report said.

Among those found dead were a pregnant female and a male.

Police said the area where the dead elephants were found, had seen a spate of incidents where wild animals had entered villages and destroyed crops. The cops suspect the dead animals may have been poisoned by angry villagers.

Killing elephants is a crime punishable by death in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s elephant population has dwindled to just 7,000 from 12,000 at the beginning of the 20th century.

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