“Radio Kings” — talk on King Cobra radio telemetry by Rom Whitaker — Bangalore, Oct 12, 2012

  • On:
    October 12, 2012
  • Timing:
    6.00PM to 8:00PM
  • Location:
    Jaaga Creative Common Ground
  • City:

With a record length of a little over 18 feet, the king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world. In 2008, Rom Whitaker initiated the first ever radio telemetry study of not just the King Cobra, but of any snake species in India. Originally, implanting two translocated snakes with transmitters in 2008, the team went on to implant two non-trans-located snakes in 2009. Tracking these four specimens has revealed for the first time, details of wild King Cobra behavior and ecology.

Rom will run us through the history of the radio telemetry project and describe some of the significant breakthroughs in the study. From incidents of cannibalism to thermal ecology of nesting females, we will explore all that is known about King Cobras in the wild.

The tiny and picturesque village of Agumbe hosts the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station – the base for the King Cobra Study. Despite the high density of King Cobras in the region, incidents of snake-human conflict are rare. The residents of Agumbe peacefully coexist with this longest of venomous serpents. Astonishing, when one considers that over 50,000 people lose their lives to snakebite each year in India.

In view of this statistic, Rom will touch upon snakebite management in India, including recent advancements in venom research, the state of healthcare and avenues for effective conflict mitigation.

Event by Café Scientifique, Bangalore.

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