Snake is an important agent in ecosystem balance but people’s fear makes it difficult to
conserve. Thus, its diversity is declining rapidly due to anthropogenic factors. Information on
snake species in Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP) is scarce despite their socio-economic
value as source of antivenin, food, leather products and pets. Therefore, snake diversity and
distribution in KLNP Nigeria were investigated.
Ten transect strips of 2 km 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 determine snake diversity and relative abundance during the day (09.00
- 12.00 h) and at night (19.00 - 21.00 h). Visit was replicated twice in each month both in dry
(December – April) and wet (June - October) seasons in two consecutive years (2013 - 2014).
Dead snakes were collected, preserved in 20% formalin solution and their morphometric
parameters measured. Respondents (226) from 12 villages randomly selected from 21 villages
at the buffer zones of KLNP were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Relative
Abundance and diversity of snakes were measured using Simpson’s (D) and Shannon-
Weiner’s (H) diversity indices. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at
Twenty-one species of snake belonging to 12 genera representing six families were identified.
Eleven species (6 families) were observed at Oli, 14 species (6) at Ibbi, 13 species (4) at
Kuble, 8 species (4) at Doro and 12 species (3 families) at Kali range. Bitis arientans (38.0%)
had the highest abundance followed by Boaedon lineatus (15.5%), Dendroapis jamesoni
(8.0%) and Naja nigricolis (7.0%) and the least encountered (1.0% each) were Bitis gabonica,
Causus Litchtensteini, and Mehelya Crossi. Ibbi range had the highest diversity index (D =
0.781 and H’ = 1.667) and Kali range with the best evenness (0.957). Significant differences
were observed in number of ventral scales (0.023), Inter-orbital length (0.025), snout- vent
length (0.004) and head width (0.009) of different snake species. Pythonidae (8.5%,
48.5.0%),Viperidae (34.1%, 12.1%), columbridae (37.0%, 12.1%) and Elapidae (23.4%,
24.3% ) were encountered during the day and night respectively. During wet season, 16.8%,
47.9%, 0.0%, 35.3% of Culubridae, Elapidae, Pythonidae, and Viperidae were encountered
respectively while 28.5%, 15.3%, 35.6%, 20.6% of Culubridae, Elapidae, Pythonidae, and
Viperidae were encountered during the dry season respectively. Snakes are utilised for
preparation of traditional medicine (55.0%), decoration (20.0%), leather products (11.0%),
Pets and entertainment (10.0%) and food (4.0%). Majority of respondents (56.0%) observed a
decrease in snake population in the last deacade. Half of snake bites occurred on the farm with
Bitis arientans (50.0%) and Naja nigricolis (38.0%) responsible for most bites. The leg was
the major point of bites (70.0%) and mostly in male respondents (85.9%).
Twenty one species of snake were identified in Kainji Lake National Park. Bitis arientans and
Boaedon lineatus were the dominant snake species. Ibbi range had the best snake species
richness. Bitis arientans and Naja nigricolis were responsible for most bites in the study area.
Keywords: Snake diversity, Snake morphometric parameters, Snake distribution, Snake
OYELEYE, D (2021). Snakes Diversity And Distribution In Kainji Lake National Park (Klnp), Nigeria. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/snakes-diversity-and-distribution-in-kainji-lake-national-park-klnp-nigeria-1
OYELEYE, David "Snakes Diversity And Distribution In Kainji Lake National Park (Klnp), Nigeria" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/snakes-diversity-and-distribution-in-kainji-lake-national-park-klnp-nigeria-1. Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.
OYELEYE, David . "Snakes Diversity And Distribution In Kainji Lake National Park (Klnp), Nigeria". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Apr. 2021. Web. 26 Mar. 2023. < https://afribary.com/works/snakes-diversity-and-distribution-in-kainji-lake-national-park-klnp-nigeria-1 >.
OYELEYE, David . "Snakes Diversity And Distribution In Kainji Lake National Park (Klnp), Nigeria" Afribary (2021). Accessed March 26, 2023. https://afribary.com/works/snakes-diversity-and-distribution-in-kainji-lake-national-park-klnp-nigeria-1