Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


South Asian Reptile Network (SARN)

There are more than 650 reptiles in South Asia.  Although a great deal is known about some charismatic and well-studied reptile species, considering the total number of reptiles there are, knowledge is very little on reptile biology, status and distribution for this mega-rich region.

In 1997 and 1998 Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (CAMP) workshops were conducted for reptiles in India and Sri Lanka.  Out of 450 species for India 100 were Data Deficient and of 175 for Sri Lanka 23 were Data Deficient.

At the workshop however it was apparent that the people involved in reptile studies in India, apart from a few prominent ones, were more scattered than the amphibian researchers.  Generally people did not know what studies were going on among the reptile researchers and institutes specializing in reptiles.  There was not even a complete checklist.  There was a gross difference between the number of species of reptiles, the amount of knowledge available and the number of people working on them.

It seemed timely to initiate a Network with the objectives of networking of Reptile field researchers in South Asia and compiling a directory of Reptile Researchers and publishing biannual newsletter so that the reptile researchers of the whole of South Asian can become more of a community.

The success of a Network can be measured only by the amount of interaction there is between the members, which leads directly to conservation action.  There are about 100 members listed in the network already and more are expected.  For improved conservation planning and action for such a large and widely disbursed group of organisms, more and more people / actively involved, conservationists, lobbyists and others with an interest in reptile conservation and a contribution to make towards the great knowledge of reptiles to become members of the Reptile Network. 

Individuals can be affiliated to any Organisation / governmental or non-governmental, research institute, university, etc.  The way networks grow is that members tell other reptile researchers about the network and also inform us of professional and amateur reptile workers.  There is no fee to become a member , just interest and commitment to reptile conservation, and a willingness to share some of your knowledge with the network as a while.

The network has some activities. The CAMP workshop spawned some obvious tasks, some of which are going on now (Data Deficient Project).  Also, after a successful hands-on training for amphibian field biologists, a similar exercise is envisioned for reptile biologists.


To encourage and promote the study of Reptiles of South Asia, by organizing and running a network of Reptile specialists, and to provide them useful services.

To maintain a check list and data base -- as complete and correct as possible -- of Reptiles of South Asia providing local, national and regional information to be shared with important national and international agencies and organisations 

To catalyse, organize, conduct and follow-up conservation assessment and other workshops and training exercises for Reptile specialists of South Asia and public education projects as appropriate, nationally or regionally

Click on these links below to view the reports of the Reptile CAMPs

Report of BCCP CAMP on Reptiles of India, published in 1998, edited by S. Molur and S. Walker.

To follow up such workshops with recommendations to local, state, national and regional wildlife authorities for protection for threatened species of Reptiles and promotion of further studies of Data Deficient species  (ongoing but much needs to be done)

To undertake a set of specific tasks utilising the information from the 2002 Reptile CAMP workshop to further enhance our knowledge of Reptile status in South Asia

To research and disseminate information about funding sources for field surveys

To bring out a newsletter of current reptile conservation, research, education news (several issues have been brought out and can be found on our website)

to find the current Reptile Rap newsletter 

To prepare a Directory of Reptile specialists of South Asia for distribution to all network members

to see the directory of Reptile Special Interest Group Members

To prepare educational materials on Reptiles at different levels on for conveying to policy makers, politicians, and the public / all ages and languages.

to view the Reports of some of these education programmes

To involve researchers in public education on Reptiles by providing printed material and guidelines.