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Red sand boa

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH

 Context: A report by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-India has highlighted 172 incidents of seizures involving the red sand boa (Eryx johnii) between 2016 and 2021 in India.

  • The report aims to shed light on the illegal trade of red sand boas, particularly online, to raise awareness and prevent further illegal collection and sale of the species.


Key Highlights:

  • The report reveals that illegal sand boa trade occurred in 18 Indian states and one Union Territory, spanning 87 districts across the country. Maharashtra recorded the highest number of incidents.
  • The report recommends that local and international conservation organizations conduct research to better understand the illegal reptile trade.
  • It also suggests developing training programs for journalism students and investigative journalists to produce informed media stories on illegal wildlife trade to increase awareness and reduce misinformation.



About Red Sand Boa:

  • The red sand boa (Eryx johnii) is a non-venomous snake that lives in the dry parts of the Indian subcontinent.
  • It’s also known as the Indian sand boa. The red sand boa is a thick-set snake that’s usually reddish-brown, known for its blunt tail, which it uses to mimic its head when it senses a threat.
  • Classified as ‘Near Threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with a declining population trend.
  • The red sand boa is highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade due to its demand in the pet trade and its use in black magic.