Philippines seeking to protect snakes
Jun 1, 2011
There are 32 species of snakes that can be found in the Philippines, which a recent report from Malaya calls one of the "top sanctuaries for snakes" in Asia. Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem, as the loss of snakes would lead to uncontrolled growth in the population of their prey. Such population fluctuations would have effects in agriculture and food security.
Other countries in Asia also have high populations of snakes. These include Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, China, India and Indonesia, the latter of which has about 128 species of snakes, according to the news source.
According to the U.S. Delegation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the U.S. "recognizes that the international snake trade, particularly in Asia, is extremely large, poorly regulated and enforced, and benefits from very limited scientific review." While a certain level of snake trade is sustainable, according to CITES, the species must be guarded by appropriate management in order to protect their status in the overall ecosystem.