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Snakes of The Kehje Sewen Forest


The Kehje Sewen Forest is incredibly rich in both flora and fauna. Various species of snake can be found in the Kehje Sewen Forest, including:

The Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus), or as the locals call it, “Ular Tambang”, is a small and rather thin snake that can grow to a length of 180 cm. This snake can be found in lowland forests up to mountain forests, and feeds on lizards and tree frogs. The Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback can be found in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, and in Indonesia can be found in Belitung, Nias, Kalimantan and Sumatra.

 

Stripe-Tailed Bronzeback Tree Snake or “Ular Tambang” (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus)

The Bornean Pit Viper (Trimeresurus borneensis) is endemic to Kalimantan and can be found in the swamps and bushes of lowland forests. This particular snake produces strong venom and bites with extraordinary speed, although its bite is not fatal. Its bite discomforts the recipient with a burn-like sensation and leaves the skin swollen. The Bornean Vit Viper feeds on small mammals, such as mice, and hides skilfully between the leaves, making it hard to see.

 

Bornean Pit Viper (Trimeresurus borneensis)

The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in the Kehje Sewen Forest. This snake can grow to six meters, and without immediate medical attention, its bite causes death. It can be found in lowland forests, agricultural areas, fields and residential areas, and its main prey include lizards and other snakes. The King Cobra can also be found in other Southeast-Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia, and in Indonesia is found in Sumatra, Belitung, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, and other islands. The King Cobra can also be found in East-Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Bhutan, Nepal and China.

 

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

The Red-Tailed Racer snake (Gonyosoma oxycephala), or “Ular Ekor Mati/Ular Gadung Luwuk” as it is known locally, is also found in the Kehje Sewen Forest. It can be found in primary and secondary forests, mangroves, swamps, wet bushland areas, plantations and lowland forests up to 1,300 metres above sea level. The Red-Tailed Racer snake feeds on small mammals, bats, birds and eggs, and can be found in Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok and Sulawesi. This snake is diurnal; it is only active in the hottest part of the day.

 

The Red-Tailed Racer, or “Ular Ekor Mati/Ular Gadung Luwuk” (Gonyosoma oxycephala)

Every living creature on earth has its own significant role in the cycle of life. Snakes, for example, help keep rodent and other pest populations down. Therefore, we need to ensure snakes are protected so that forest ecosystems remain in balance.

Snakes are very good at adapting to diverse environments, even in areas where humans have taken hold. But, our fear of animals such as snakes can threaten their survival; we need to arm ourselves with knowledge and change our perception of snakes as dangerous, unsavoury characters. Let’s support RHOI and help protect the earth and all its creatures, great and small.

Text by: PRM team in Kehje Sewen Forest

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