By Shaleen Attre
IndianSnakes was established with the initial aim of creating a digital database of snakes. Slowly and surely over the past six years, we’ve ventured into snake conservation action which includes mitigating human-snake conflict. Our endeavours have led us to many places of the country and Kanha is one such area that we currently have the fortune of working in, thanks to the support given by Singinawa Conservation Foundation and Kanha Tiger Reserve Forest Department.
Our project spans the Mandla and Balaghat districts around Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, and in our bid to spread awareness amongst the people we have been periodically coming out with innovative outreach material. The latest in this series are special pocket booklets and posters on the snakes of Kanha. The former has been specially curated to be easy to carry around in a compact size (it literally fits into your wallet or pocket) and has been divided into full-colour sections to help you know about the 31 species of venomous, mildly venomous and the non-venomous snakes of the area, bust myths, give you snake bites’ dos and don’ts, information on precautions which can be taken to minimise risk of a bite, what the law says about snakes as well as our helpline numbers for identification and snake bite emergencies.
The booklet and the poster, which made their inaugural presence at a meeting in late November on mitigating snake bite deaths in the districts, were well received by by Mr. Sanjay Shukla, IFS, Field Director of Kanha Tiger Reserve as well as Ms. Preethi Maithil, IAS the Collector of Mandla district, in the presence of senior officials from the District Administration, the Forest Department and Singinawa Conservation Foundation.
We have joined hands with the Forest Department and are participating in the health camps organised in Mandla District by the Forest Department under the Deendayal Vananchal Seva Scheme and are spreading awareness among the locals on types of snakes found in the area snakes and on precautions in case of snake bites. These efforts will be ongoing and we thank Mr. Mishra, IFS, DFO (Territorial Division) for helping us in spreading the message that saves lives of many people and snakes alike.
“Singinawa Conservation Foundation's entity is intrinsically tied to the indigenous community at multiple levels. From impactful initiatives to fringe activities, community development forms the central crux of our primary and outreach activities. Engaging with the community in a meaningful and output intensive manner is a core belief of the Foundation. By partnering with the team from IndianSnakes we together hope to make a sustained difference in the lives of the indigenous communities in the region,” says Ms. Tulika Kedia, Managing Director at Singinawa Jungle Lodge. The Lodge works closely with the Park authorities and tribal communities within the buffer zone of this vast reserve for the conservation and protection of the eco system, through the Singinawa Conservation Foundation.
Kanha is just the start on compiling such relevant information for free and easy access to anyone who might need it or be interested. A similar booklet has also been compiled on the Common Snakes of Vizag with at least three more states/areas also under production. If you would like to sponsor such booklets for any part of the country or would like us to make booklets or posters for a landscape that you’re working in, do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meanwhile if you would like to browse through our extensive database of 212 snakes, feel free to peruse our website or download the IndianSnakes app which is available for both Android (Google Play) and Apple (iOS) App store.