ALARMING: Pythons on the verge of extinction in Pakistan
Being skilled predators, Pythons assure that the population dynamics of an ecosystem are not disrupted.
The Indian rock python, commonly known as ‘Azdaha’ in Pakistan, is a non-venomous constrictor belonging to the family of the longest surviving snakes of the world.
Pythons are adaptable, equally quick on both land and water. They can climb trees with excellent skill and hunt medium to large-sized animals by constriction and suffocation.
Having an impressive 9 meters of maximum length, The Indian Rock Pythons are adorned with black-edged, dark brown patches on scaly yellow-brown skin. Though large in size and widely feared, they avoid human contact and are mostly docile, but despite this, pythons are on the brink of extinction in Pakistan.
Where are pythons found?
The Indian Rock Pythons live in a wide variety of vicinities, including marshlands, caves, thick forests, holes, and rocky edges. It occupies hollow tree trucks and dens, avoiding close contact with humans. Pythons apt to live near water and are skilled swimmers.
They tend to remain in desolate territories but are hesitant to leave once settled in an area. Once widespread in Pakistan, pythons have now been restrained to the Indus Delta, near the upper Indus River.
Pythons are in danger
Pythons have mostly suffered due to extreme habitat disruption and fragmentation. As human societies grow and take over natural ecosystems, cutting down forests to pave the road for urbanization, species are left homeless.
When humans come face to face with pythons, serpents are killed because of human-wildlife conflict. Poachers seek them for their highly-valued skin, which is used in the fashion industry.
The fear of snakes is common in people, even if they are afraid of snakes that do not make them horrible creatures.
Being skilled predators, they assure that the population dynamics of an ecosystem are not disrupted.
For instance, a decline in snakes in an area can lead to an increase in rat populations; the latter do not avoid human settlements and are often the carriers of deadly infectious diseases like the bubonic plague.
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