"In the Python's Grip"


Indian rock python,
Python molurus
Burmese rock python,
Python bivittatus

As already observed, since the completion of filming the two races of Asian rock python were elevated to specific status* as Python molurus and P.bivittatus, as I proposed should be the case. Bhupathy has continued his studies into the natural history of the Indian python at Keoladeo Nationa Park, and published his results**.

*Jacobs, Auliya & Böhme 2009 Zur taxonomie des Dunklen Tigerpythons, Python molurus bivittatus Khl, 1820, speziell der Population von Sulawesi. Sauria 31(3):5-16.

** Ramesh& Bhupathy 2010 Breeding biology of Python molurus molurus in Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, India. Herpetological Journal 20(3):157-163.

Ganges gharial, Gavialis gangeticus, in the Chambal River

The situation for the Ganges gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is not so bright. A recent survey*** examined the affects if human influence (water pumping, fishing, tourism, sand mining) on the Chambal River population. There has also been a marked die-off of gharials across their entire range, something investigated by herpetologist Rom Whitaker in his film "Gharial Blues" and in his article "The Gharial: Going Extinct Again"****. Reintroduction programs with juvenile gharial will not be successful unless the environmental and human causes for their sudden and massive decline are redressed first.

*** Katdare, Srivathsa, Hoshi, Panke, Pande, Kandal & Everard 2011 Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) populations and human influences on habitat on the River Chambal, India. Aquatic Conservation 21(4):364-371.

**** Whitaker 2007 The Gharial: Going Extinct Again. Iguana 14(1):25-33.