International Congress on Biotechnology and Food Sciences
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Accepted Abstracts

School Students Perceptions on Snakes, their Uses, and Snakebite in Nepal: Implications for Snake Conservation and Snakebite Prevention

Pandey DP1-3*, Chaudhary B4, Subedi Pandey G3, Piya RC4 and Devkota NR1
 
1 Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal
2 University of Newcastle, Australia
3Institute for Social and Environmental Research, Nepal
4 Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Citation: Pandey DP*, Chaudhary B, Subedi Pandey G, Piya RC and Devkota NR (2020) School Students Perceptions on Snakes, their Uses, and Snakebite in Nepal: Implications for Snake Conservation and Snakebite Prevention. SciTech BioTech-Food Sciences 2020. Thailand 

Received: March 31, 2020         Accepted: April 03, 2020         Published: April 03, 2020

Abstract

Snakes are globally threatened. Ethnoherpetological activities and perceptions of key components in communities on snakes and snakebites should be assessed for the sustainable use of herpetofauna, conservation plans, and educational interventions intending primary and secondary prevention of snakebites. Herein, we aim to evaluate the magnitude of snake use, the propensity of Nepalese school students for primary and secondary prevention of snakebite. We provided self-administered questionnaires to 72 randomly selected students from seven randomly selected schools from five cities in the lowlands of Nepal. We displayed them images of native snakes to know whether they recognized venomous, mildly venomous or non-venomous snakes. We documented their perceptions on snakes and treatment seeking behavior following snakebites. Based on their inclination towards killing snakes, we estimated risk-values for each snake species. We found the use of snakes for eight categories. The modern/ayurvedic and traditional medicines were the most mentioned use of snakes. Overall, 14 snakes were likely to be killed by each of informants (p = 0.052, 95% CI = 13.99–21.50). Collective risk-value of all snakes was 0.151 (p = 0.004, 95% CI = 0.0045–Inf). Among all species, Lycodon aulicus was at the highest risk and Amphiesma stolatum and Boiga siamensis were at the least risk of being killed by humans. We found that >46% of respondents (p = 0.030) were aware of snakes and snakebite care. They scored >53% (p = 0.035) responding to 32 awareness test questions. They recognized >12 (60%), >4.5 (30%), and >3 (13%) snakes correctly as venomous, mildly venomous, and non-venomous snakes, respectively. Misconceptions on snakes and secondary prevention of snakebites are prevalent and snakes are at the potential risks for human-caused mortality in the lowlands of Nepal. The risk-value assessments involving species of Nepal's lowlands provide little insight into which snake species are most likely to be killed by locals and the impact such killing have on the snake population. Therefore, there is a need of engaging school children and teachers as key individuals to disseminate quality information on native venomous snakes, ecological roles of snakes, and medical significance of some species to targeted communities.
 
Keywords: Ethnozoology; Ethnomedicine; Primary prevention of snakebite; Secondary prevention of snakebite; Snake pets; Snake use; Risk-value