KANNUR: Malabar Awareness and Rescue Centre for Wildlife (MARC), an NGO based in Kannur, is on a mission to create awareness on the snakes of the region, after coming to know that the lack of knowledge among the public regarding the same was leading to them killing even the non-venomous ones.
Through campaigns at the schools, organisations and residential areas, they attempt to educate the public regarding how to identify the venomous and non-venomous ones.
Through a group of volunteers including wildlife biologists and scientists, the NGO has been concentrating on Kannur for the past three years and is slowly moving to Kasargod and according to them, within the next few years, their activities will spread to cover the whole of Malabar. “Public knowledge about the snakes is minimum. In the regions we interact, we give the participants questionnaires and rarely people score more than four in 10 questions,” says wildlife biologist Roshnath R.
“About 60 species of venomous snakes are present in India, of which four venomous snakes (the Big Four) are a known threat to human life in most parts of the Indian mainland (Whitaker and Captain 2004). These include the Indian Spectacled Cobra (Najanaja), the Common Krait (Bungaruscaer-uleus), Russell's viper (Daboiarusselii) and the Saw-scaled viper (Echisca-rinatus),” he added.
Recently, they conducted awareness campaigns for the policemen in Kannur as well as KAP IV battalion, Mangattuparamba. “Apart from the Wildlife officials, police also receives calls from the public when snakes are noticed. In Kannur, mainly Indian Spectacle Cobra and Rock Python are noticed and 18 of them could be rescued after our training sessions,” Mr Roshnath said....