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postgraduate thesis: Human-snake conflicts in Asia : opportunities for mitigation and conservation

TitleHuman-snake conflicts in Asia : opportunities for mitigation and conservation
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2019
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Yue, S.. (2019). Human-snake conflicts in Asia : opportunities for mitigation and conservation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractHuman expansion and development rates continue to reach unprecedented levels, causing increasing rates of human-wildlife conflicts globally. In particular, conflicts between humans and snakes, hereby termed human-snake conflicts (HSC) are of the most concerning and widespread, as snakes elicit some of the most extreme responses in humans. Although HSC is a considerable medical, welfare, and conservation concern, there is a serious lack of understanding on the biological and ecological factors behind these incidents. Current mitigation strategies (e.g., relocation) fail to reduce HSC long term, and there is an urgent need for more effective management. In this thesis, I used citizen science to investigate patterns of HSC, including snake roadkill and human-snake encounters, throughout Asia, where HSC is most severe. I analyzed spatial patterns of snake roadkill sightings in Taiwan and found that roadkill was highest in habitat edges and areas of intermediate disturbance. Further, I looked at how nature-based tourism influenced snake roadkill in a popular ecotourism destination in Japan; I found that areas or activities that are popular during dawn and dusk, and without quota limits, were most associated with snake roadkill. Adding mitigation (e.g., fences and passages) to such hotspots and hot-times would be most effective. Finally, I analyzed biological and environmental patterns of human-snake encounter reports, derived from snake relocation programs across Asia. I found that several traits were common in snakes involved in HSC, such as being terrestrial, semiarboreal, rodent-eating, and active-hunting. HSC generally occurred in areas of intermediate disturbance or in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). I warn that development plans in Asia, especially infrastructure and road expansion into natural areas, would exacerbate HSC across the region. This thesis highlights the importance of using science, with emphasis on the potential of citizen science, to disentangle the underlying causes of HSC in order to form truly effective management strategies.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectSnakes - Effect of human beings on - Asia
Dept/ProgramBiological Sciences
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/279259

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorBonebrake, TC-
dc.contributor.advisorGibson, LG-
dc.contributor.authorYue, Sam-
dc.date.accessioned2019-10-24T08:28:39Z-
dc.date.available2019-10-24T08:28:39Z-
dc.date.issued2019-
dc.identifier.citationYue, S.. (2019). Human-snake conflicts in Asia : opportunities for mitigation and conservation. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/279259-
dc.description.abstractHuman expansion and development rates continue to reach unprecedented levels, causing increasing rates of human-wildlife conflicts globally. In particular, conflicts between humans and snakes, hereby termed human-snake conflicts (HSC) are of the most concerning and widespread, as snakes elicit some of the most extreme responses in humans. Although HSC is a considerable medical, welfare, and conservation concern, there is a serious lack of understanding on the biological and ecological factors behind these incidents. Current mitigation strategies (e.g., relocation) fail to reduce HSC long term, and there is an urgent need for more effective management. In this thesis, I used citizen science to investigate patterns of HSC, including snake roadkill and human-snake encounters, throughout Asia, where HSC is most severe. I analyzed spatial patterns of snake roadkill sightings in Taiwan and found that roadkill was highest in habitat edges and areas of intermediate disturbance. Further, I looked at how nature-based tourism influenced snake roadkill in a popular ecotourism destination in Japan; I found that areas or activities that are popular during dawn and dusk, and without quota limits, were most associated with snake roadkill. Adding mitigation (e.g., fences and passages) to such hotspots and hot-times would be most effective. Finally, I analyzed biological and environmental patterns of human-snake encounter reports, derived from snake relocation programs across Asia. I found that several traits were common in snakes involved in HSC, such as being terrestrial, semiarboreal, rodent-eating, and active-hunting. HSC generally occurred in areas of intermediate disturbance or in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). I warn that development plans in Asia, especially infrastructure and road expansion into natural areas, would exacerbate HSC across the region. This thesis highlights the importance of using science, with emphasis on the potential of citizen science, to disentangle the underlying causes of HSC in order to form truly effective management strategies.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshSnakes - Effect of human beings on - Asia-
dc.titleHuman-snake conflicts in Asia : opportunities for mitigation and conservation-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineBiological Sciences-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2019-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044158739503414-

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