Conservation status and impact of trade on the Oriental Rat Snake Ptyas mucosa in Java, Indonesia

Complete Title: 
Conservation status and impact of trade on the Oriental Rat Snake Ptyas mucosa in Java, Indonesia
IUCN Publication




The Oriental Rat Snake Ptyas mucosa has been used in the international skin trade since the early 20th century. Concern over the effects of trade, notably in Indonesia, and a distinct decline in export volumes at the end of the 1980s, led to the listing of the Oriental Rat Snake in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in January 1990. Following the Appendix-II listing of Oriental Rat Snake, the annual export quota was decreased to 250 000 in 1990 and further to 200 000 in 1992 and 1993. The CITES Animals Committee noted in 1993 that the trade volume in this species reported as originating from Indonesia by importing countries exceeded the volume of exports reported by Indonesia. The Secretariat suspended international trade in the species as a result of this discrepancy. After 12 years, the ban was lifted in 2005, following fieldwork conducted by the Indonesian Scientific Authority (LIPI) on the biology of the species and the impact of trade. Subsequently the present study related to the non-detriment finding (NDF) process was conducted by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia. Seventeen Oriental Rat Snake traders were visited (15 in Central Java, two in East Java). Morphometric and reproductive data were gathered, and attempts were made to clarify trade structure and routes, to collate views on population status, and to assess management practice. The 12-year suspension of trade in skins of the Oriental Rat Snake appears to have triggered a large, and now well established illegal trade in meat and gall bladders of the species. Three ports in Java currently ship consignments of frozen rat snake meat to China and Taiwan. If this trade, which clearly has the potential to use by-products of the skin industry, is to continue, it is essential that it is regulated and brought within the same management system proposed for the skin trade.

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Monographic Series no.: 
Petaling Jaya, MY : TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, 2010
Physical Description: 
vii, 39p. : ill., fig., maps
Publication Year: 

Includes bibliographic references.


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Record created: 2013/09/13
Record updated: 2020/04/10