Philippines endangered reptiles


Philippine cobra

From the Philippine Star:

Phl cobra, 12 other reptiles on endangered list

By Michael Punongbayan

Updated December 31, 2012 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine cobra and 12 other reptiles have joined the country’s official list of threatened species, according to former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Zubiri, former chairman of the Senate environment and natural resources committee and convenor of Pilipinas Ecowarriors, yesterday named the 12 other newly threatened reptiles as the Loggerhead turtle, Southeast Asian box turtle, Spiny terrapin, South-east Philippine spitting cobra (Naja samarensis), Equatorial spitting cobra, King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), Southeast Asian softshell turtle, Batanes pit viper, Panay monitor lizard and three subspecies of the Malay monitor lizard.

The Philippine cobra was previously categorized only as near threatened but the snake’s decline in population led to the downgrading of its conservation status to threatened-endangered.

A highly venomous burly snake averaging a meter in length, the Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) thrives in low-lying plains, from thick jungles and forested areas to open fields and grasslands.

The reptile preys mostly on small rodents and frogs and occasionally, other snakes, lizards and birds. Its predators include humans, birds of prey, the king cobra, and the mongoose.

Zubiri said the species are tagged threatened once their habitats have suffered extreme depletion and their populations have fallen to a level below which the species or subspecies will be totally extinct.

He explained that threatened species are further sub-classified either as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered.

Zubiri said vulnerable species are under threat from serious adverse factors all over their range and are believed likely to drop to the endangered category in the near future.

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