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Keeled Rat Snake with Mesmerizing Movement (Video) Thailand Snake Note

Before you read today’s Snake Note below – watch this video Vince did. It’s a 2m long keeled rat snake that shows some amazing moves once it spots Vince. Turn on the English captions, he speaks Dutch at first. Blow it up to full screen, it’s still good quality.

I’ve had a few visitors to Krabi over the last couple of months. Covid restrictions have been relaxed and a lot of people from Europe especially are planning to return. Hope they do soon because COVID Omicron BA 1-5 are supposedly as contagious as measles was. That means it is the most contagious virus on the planet right now (far as we know).

So, mask restrictions, travel restrictions could be in place soon again in Thailand. It’s just damned ridiculous at this point. I think most of us just want to take our chances and freely travel. The problem is that the elderly and maybe extremely young could actually die from this. Not much different from other viruses though in that regard. Anyway.

We herped a bit over the last few weeks. It has rained the entire time. I’m not sure about Thailand as a whole, but Krabi has experienced more rain in the last 12 months that in the other 14 years I’ve been here. It has been surprising how it can continue on like this. We’ve had no dry season at all.

Has this affected the herping? Maybe. I think the cold temperatures have also helped to kill herping here though. I have my sliding glass door open and it must be 24°C right now. That’s damn cold for here. Phone says 26C. I am freezing at my desk here. Just goes to show that I’m so used to much higher temperatures during daylight.

Last night 3 of us walked around for 90 minutes and found not one thing at PBMR. Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort. Our two spots, “The Hill” and PBMR have given us very little in the prime months – June/July in the way of snakes.

It isn’t just the rain and cold and dry wind.

Habitats go through cycles. Right now we’re at the peak cycle for many snake predators in these areas. Owls, hog badgers, slow lorises, possibly king cobras, and other birds of prey during daytime?

In addition to fewer snakes than ever, I see far fewer frogs, lizards, skinks, than I ever have. It’s damn depressing.

Are there also more people in the forest catching frogs for the food markets? Yes, for sure. That is also contributing.

I have a friend from Germany here who spent some days in Trang herping. Between here and there he sent me this list of species he found in 20 days of herping.

  • A. prasina 8x
  • A. mycterizans
  • A. fasciolata
  • B. drapiezii
  • B. nigriceps 2x
  • B. bengkuluensis
  • B. melanota
  • C. ornata
  • D. cyanochloris 3x
  • L. laoensis 3x
  • L. albofuscus
  • L. subannulatus
  • P. korros 6x
  • P. carinata 2x
  • P. mucosa (DOR)
  • G. oxycephalum
  • P. reticulatus 4x
  • C. rhodostoma 5x
  • T. venustus 2x
  • T. albolabris
  • N. kaouthia 2x
  • O. hannah

He’s a pretty diehard herper, going out daily and nightly I think on most days. I’m not sure how many hours he herped, but I’m guessing at least 3-4 per day and probably more like 5-10.

So, there are snakes out there in some places, but not in our 2 favorite spots. That sucks, to be honest!

There’s still a chance the rain goes away and these spots come back to life but I’m not expecting it. I’ve seen a gradual decline in the number of snakes for years here. Fifteen years ago it was paradise. There were snakes everywhere. We didn’t even know what were were looking for, or HOW to herp, and we’d find 3 snakes an hour on average.

Anyway, times change. I’m more into writing for my saltwater fishing site these days and I may have picked up a freelance writing job with a couple of guys who run a survivalist site.

I’m also considering fishing here. Haven’t done it yet. Came to Thailand prepared to fish every day and then someone stole my Penn reels out of our home. Then I realized that good shore fishing doesn’t exist on the shores, everything has been netted because there’s no restrictions or enforcement of them if any DID exist.

I turned to snakes instead.

Now, ready for another pivot until snakes return. Or, I find some free time to go new places to find them.

Trang is OK but some of the usual spots are tightening up ‘security’ at night. The national parks here in Krabi as well. I wonder if there has been some directive from the top that told rangers to start getting serious about people coming in to herp at night. Not sure, but I know a few people that have been turned down and caught slipping the guards and that has ruined a few plans.

So, there are probably still snakes in your area of Thailand, but ours is dead at the moment.

Will let you know when that changes.

Wasn’t the video above interesting?