American Journal of Zoological Research. 2014, 2(3), 41-45DOI:
Abstract: Background: Tanzania is internationally recognized as a key country for the conservation of African biological diversity. This country’s rich biodiversity is a reflection of its unique geographical position and climatic variations. The herpetofauna in Tanzania has a wide range of vertical and horizontal distribution. However, the field of herpetology has always received less priority in Tanzania. Methods: Visual encounter survey method was employed for snake collection. The study area was visited almost regularly and all snake species observed were recorded / collected. During regular surveys, searching was conducted in all possible microhabitats such as in shade, under boulder and logs, alongside of streams, agricultural field, forest, bushes and human settlements during day time. The killed snake species were collected and preserved in 10% formalin for further study. Result: A total of 16 snake species belonging to 12 genera and 7 families were documented at the campus of the University of Dodoma from February 2009 to April 2014. Out of all the species, 5 belong to family Colubridae,6 to Lamprophiidae andone species each belong to family Elapidae, Viperidae, Atractaspididae, Boidae, and Pythonidae. Among the recorded species3 are deadly venomous, 7 are mild venomous and the remaining 6 are non-venomous. Conclusions: Although the most common snake at the campus is a highly venomous snake, the puff adder, no fatalities associated with snake bites were recorded at the university during the study period. For the conservation of snakes in Tanzania, public awareness regarding the importance of snake to keep the ecosystem in balanced condition is essential. The snake biodiversity of Tanzania is unparalleled on mainland Africa, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its forest herpetofauna. Though, the endemics for which the nation is so renowned are seriously threatened by habitat loss and overexploitation for the wildlife trade.