‘Living with Pythons’ is a nationwide initiative kick started in 2017 by Nirmal U Kulkarni, recipe Goa based herpetologist and wildlife photographer to create awareness and instill appreciation about India’s 3 Python species. These include the Indian Rock Python (Python molurus), Burmese Python (Python bivittatus) and Reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus).
Together, these snakes represent some of the largest snake species of the world. While the Reticulated python is now acknowledged as one of the largest snakes in the world, the Burmese python is a near threatened species in its range in Burma. Illegal skin trade and habitat loss have taken a heavy toll and one ray of hope is forest of North East India where few populations survive.
The species found in Goa, and across the Indian mainland commonly, The Indian Rock python has been now accepted as threatened due to human reptile conflict and habitat loss.
This initiative aims to thus promote acceptance, awareness and understanding about these python species through conservation outreach and field based herpetology techniques.
The initiative aims to achieve these objectives through on field discussions, engagements with communities, youth and Forest Department personnel.
This project will also contribute to creating awareness on the issue of human- snake conflicts that are key to python survival in human dominated rural and urban landscapes.
A specific target group of reptile enthusiasts and amateur snake handlers and rescuers in the states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra will also be sensitized on these ecologically important species.
Beside which the initiative proposes to address a need for a common protocol for Python rescue and release, as it will help minimize and address issues relating reptile-human conflict and provide vital answers to this growing challenge especially in urban India.
The illustration for the logo has been done by wildlife artist Nitesh Parulekar while the design has been executed by Printer’s Devils, Porvorim, Goa. The illustration is the head representation of the Indian rock python.
On a personal level, Nirmal Kulkarni, Team Lead and herpetologist states that he has dedicated the year 2017 for the cause of Indian python species and seeks support from the public to support this initiative.