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Red Sand Boa

2023 SEP 2

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Species extinction & protection   >   Species in news

Why in news?

  • Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-India has released a report titled ‘Illegal Trade of Red Sand Boa in India 2016-2021’.

More about the News:

  • Red sand boa is now acknowledged as one of the most traded reptile species in the illegal trade market due to its demand in the pet trade, as well as for use in black magic.
  • Around 172 incidents of illegal red sand boa trade were reported between the years 2016-2021.
  • The highest number was recorded in Maharashtra often from urban areas.
  • The report also highlights the role of social media in the illegal trade of the species. For instance, YouTube serves as a buyer-seller-interface for red sand boas in India, and sometimes acts as a gateway to facilitate trade via WhatsApp.

About Red Sand Boa:

  • Red Sand Boa commonly called the Indian Sand Boa is a non-venomous snake found throughout the dry parts of country.
  • It is a primarily reddish-brown and thick-set snake that grows to an average length of 75 cm.


  • Unlike most snakes, the tail is almost as thick as the body and gives the reptile the appearance of being “double-headed”.
  • Red Sand Boa are the largest of the sand boas in the world. They are Nocturnal and spends the majority of its time under the ground.
  • Ecologically important:          
    • Like other snake species, the Red Sand Boa also plays a significant role in the ecosystem by maintaining a healthy population between prey and predator. It feeds on rodents, lizards, and even other snakes.
  • IUCN: Near Threatened
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule IV
  • CITES: Appendix II


Consider the following statements regarding ‘Red Sand Boa’:

1. They are venomous snake found throughout the country.

2. They are nocturnal and spends the majority of its time under the ground.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2