Distribution, habitat use, and nesting behavior of the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) in the Trashigang Forest Division, Eastern Bhutan

Authors

  • Bal Krishna Koirala Trashigang Territorial Forest Division, Department of Forests and Park Services, Post Box 42001, Trashigang, Bhutan
  • Dawa Tshering Territorial Forest Division, Department of Forests and Park Services, Wamrong, Post Box 42004, Trashigang, Bhutan https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5618-0889

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/randa.v28i3.15786

Keywords:

distribution, King Cobra, vulnerable, altitude, incubation, incubatiion time, hatching success

Abstract

The King Cobra, Ophiophagus hannah (Cantor 1836), is the longest venomous snake in the world; it is globally threatened and has been categorized as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List. Herein we describe distribution, habitats, and nesting behavior of the King Cobra in Trashigang Forest Division, Bhutan. We recorded a total of 18 King Cobras during the one-year survey period. The elevational distribution was 650–2,057 m but most sightings were at lower elevations. King Cobras did not appear to prefer or avoid any particular habitat type but most records were from areas where human disturbances were at a minimum. We monitored a nest containing 37 eggs that was actively guarded by a female. This study was the first of its kind in Trashigang Forest Division and we hope that the information obtained will help formulate appropriate conservation strategies for this globally threatened species.

Author Biography

Dawa Tshering , Territorial Forest Division, Department of Forests and Park Services, Wamrong, Post Box 42004, Trashigang, Bhutan

Divisional Forest Office, Trashigang, Department of Forests and Park Services

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Published

2021-11-25 — Updated on 2021-11-26

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How to Cite

Koirala, B. K., & Dawa Tshering. (2021). Distribution, habitat use, and nesting behavior of the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) in the Trashigang Forest Division, Eastern Bhutan. Reptiles &Amp; Amphibians, 28(3), 397–403. https://doi.org/10.17161/randa.v28i3.15786 (Original work published November 25, 2021)