Snake habitat is reducing rapidly due to anthropogenic factors. Information on snake habitats and distribution in Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) is scarce despite their socio-economic importance. Therefore, snake habitats preferences in KLNP Nigeria were investigated. Ten transect strips of 2 km x 10 m each were laid in five ranges (Oli, Ibbi, Kuble, Doro and Kali) randomly selected from seven ranges in KLNP. Visual Encounter Survey was conducted along each transect to assess snake diversity and relative abundance in various vegetation structures along transects during the day (09.00 – 12.00hrs) and at night (19.00 – 21.00hrs). Visit was replicated twice in each month both in dry (December – April) and wet (June – October) seasons in two consecutive years (2013 – 2014). Data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Most Vipers (90.0%) were usually found on the ground resting or waiting for their prey while the rest (10.0%) of them were found hidden in the hole. Pythons utilize the holes (50.0%) and were equally found on the land (50.0%). The Culubrids, among which were water snakes were uniquely found in water (56.0%) while some were found on the ground (38.0%). The Elapids were found on the ground (48.0%), on the trees (27%) and in the hole (25.0%). Pythons were found mostly in the riparian forest (50.0%) and woodland vegetation (50.0%) of the study area. In contrast, culubrids were mostly found in the grassland (70.0%) while others (30.0%) were found in the woodland. Elapids were found in both the grassland (50.0%) and the woodland (50.0%) while all vipers (100.0%) were found in the grassland of the study area. The study highlighted the Checklist of snake species in Kainji Lake National Park. Abundance and distribution of snake species in KLNP were established and basic information that will enhance ecotourism management plan for snake View in the study area were provided.

Key Words: Snake habitats, Woodland, Riparian Forest, Grassland, Kainji Lake National Park

Comments: no replies

Join in: leave your comment