Black & Yellow

Hello.

One of the venomous species found around Sakaerat SERS station is Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus). This Is large species of the family Elapidae that can grow to over 2 m. This snakes are nocturnal animals. They feed mainly on other serpents. It is not easy to find them here.

 

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Our colleague Tyler Knierim is conducting his master research on this species. Recently at lest one of his females was nesting and I was lucky enough to photograph two neonates in my studio. As you can see from the picture coloration of the neonates is more pale than adults individuals. They will gain more yellow colour with each shedding.

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Kraits have a very interesting form of the defensive behavior. The hide their heads under the body coils while exposing their blunt ended tail. Once they will feel threaten they will strike energetically to the side.

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Hope you enjoy the photos.

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Green Pit Vipers from Thailand

Hello,

We would like to present you with one of the effects of our last Visit at Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute. We were lucky to photograph some of snakes kept in the institute.

This time we present you with several beautiful green pit vipers species.

Green Pit Vipers are responsible for biggest amount of envenomations in Thailand (about 40%). Their venom varies in toxicity between species, but all are primarily hemotoxic and considered to be medically significant to humans.

Bites can be avoided by using a light while walking in the dark and double check on dark places like log/rubbish piles before putting hands in.

 

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Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus) foraging

Helo everyone in 2017.
In our first post this year we would like to show you Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus) spotted within research station Sakaerat SERS. This species feed mainly on other snakes. On the video you can see snake foraging on the edge of small pond. Snake was checking hole by hole in the briks. We were hoping to document frog predation but not this time… Hope you enjoy.

Yellow-striped Rat Snake Coelognathus flavolineatus

Hello,

Last week we opened a new passive trap in a stream bed within the Dry Evergreen Forest of Sakaerat SERS. After just one night of trap closure, a rarely seen Yellow-striped Rat Snake Coelognathus flavolineatus was found during early morning checks. It was the second individual encountered here over 3 years making it a great find.

This species grows up to 1.8m in length and is terrestrial (with good climbing skills). A constrictor that preys on small mammals, eggs and frogs, it is crepuscular (active at dusk)/nocturnal and oviparous with clutch sizes from 5 to 12 eggs. NON VENOMOUS.

The picture below is juvenile of this species.

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And the sub-adult female recently captured in the trap.

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The Leopard Cat

Spotted Saturday @ Sakaerat Najas Project

The Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a small felid species with a range spanning India to the Far East of Russia and Indochina. It is a solitary animal, living mostly in tropical evergreen forests. One of our field researchers was lucky enough to spot one crossing the road here at Sakaerat SERS recently.

Leopard Cats hunt at night, and feed mainly on prey such as small mammals, lizards and birds as well as large insects. Here in Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve they share their environment with the Asian Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii) which is larger and able to predate even on deer species, therefore direct competition is rare.

(Not) Fun fact: The Leopard Cat has been mated with domestic cats since the ‘60s to produce hybrid offspring known as the Bengal cat. Since these hybrids are often sterile, the demand for pure Leopard Cats is high and the species continues to be hunted throughout most of its range for fur, food, and as pets.

This image shows a Leopard Cat in front of the shelter of a radiotracked Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia).

 

Photos By Trail Camera

In with the new, out with the old!

Hello all from the currently blue skied Sakaerat biosphere! We’ve been as busy as ever, mostly due to a high frequency of movements from every one of the Cobras we are tracking.  Also, due to three of our radiotelemetry receivers being in repair, keeping up with our snakes has proved challenging but we are rising to the task and gathering some great data as well as getting plenty of camera trap photos that will be posted online soon.

 

New to the team!

This month the Sakerat Najas team welcomed two new volunteers: Richy Pulman and Joseph Surivong.  Richy is due to stay for at least six months, and Joseph will return to university in September, with a view to returning to the Najas project – possibly to carry out research to aid in his dissertation for Msc.

 

In with the new, out with the old!

Although the Najas project would love to keep hard working and highly skilled trackers forever, we are aware that sometimes things come to an end. We have said goodbye (in style – with adventures, picnics & bbq’s) to two volunteers this month: Lydia Snow and Sam Smith. Both of these close friends had a great time here at SERS, learning lots, forming close friendships and working downright hard. Their tracking abilities are already missed, as is their presence.

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Sam has returned to the USA (after a spot of travelling in Thailand) to continue with her studies and Lydia will be returning to England in search of more conservation work worldwide (but only after a well earned month off travelling around Cambodia).

From Bart and the Sakaerat Najas Project: thank you both so very much for the effort you’ve put in here during your stay. Your professional approach and integrity will surely land you in some great positions in the future. All the best, and good luck!

From everyone at SERS: We miss you and hope to see you both soon!

Herping with the Irulas

Last month we had pleasure to host a very special guests. Legendary snake catchers from Irula tribe (India). Masi and Vadivel are catching snakes for venom extraction, they agreed to visit Thailand and help us with snake surveys. Along with them came Gowri Shankar with his intern Prianka, a well known herpetologist from Bangalore and Ajay Kartik, head curator from Madras Crocodile Bank.

DSCF6605From left: Gowri Shankar, Vadivel, Masi, Bartosz Nadolski, Karolina Ciesielska, Prianka Swamy, Anji D’souza, Ajay Kartik.

We spent almost 280 man hours in the field. We captured 20 snakes of 11 species.

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DSCF6721Two of four neonates of Pipe Snake Cylindrophus ruffus foundes in ome hole.

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Rice Paddy Snake Enhydris plumbea in its burrow.

DSCF6642Ornate Flying Snake Chrysopelea ornata feeding on Toke Gecko Gecko gecko.

It was relay interesting to see how these people work in the field. They look for tracks left by snakes. By looking at animal burrow they can say if it was recently used by snakes.

DSCF6596Part of the burrow with well visible snake track. Once snake move in the hole he leaves smooth surface behind.

DSCF6682Who said that looking for venomous snakes need to be serious?

Between surveys we visited local Korean Barbecue. It is one of my very favorite ways to go out for social feeding.

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Las part of our trip was visit in Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute. We met Dr Lawan that took us for a walk around facilities. We are keeping fingers cross for future collaborations.

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King Cobra room.

After visiting backstage we took a tour around facilities for general audience. First we saw Monocled Cobra Naja kaouthia venom extraction.

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After that we visited exhibitions with snakes of Thailand. Many of the species presented there can be found around Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve.

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The fattest Monocled Cobra Naja kaouthia I have ever seen.

DSCF6790Prianka with King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah.

Finally after twelve days their trip come to the end. We are planing to organize two more visits in different part of year to find more snakes! Stay tuned.