Ayers Population Monitoring
In 2019, SARCA initiated a two-year population field study in Indonesia, led by Indonesian scientific experts, to understand underlying wild population densities and biological attributes of Ayers (Homalopsis buccata) in the habitats from which they are captured.
This is the first comprehensive scientific study of the Ayers species in Indonesia and has gathered data on a further range of snake species from Indonesia, many of which are used for their meat, skins, and for medicine. The population and monitoring study helps SARCA develop a scientific assessment of the biological attributes of Ayers to assess life history data from harvested snakes. In addition, this monitoring procedure is critical for ongoing data collection and welfare training in the Indonesian Ayers supply chain. This work ultimately helps to evidence the sustainability of offtake and inform export quotas of Ayers skins from Indonesia through research, capacity building, and a non-detriment finding.
Since July 2019, a SARCA team has conducted fieldwork each month as part of a biological attributes study to collect biological data from harvested snakes. By doing this, SARCA has built an understanding of how snake biology differs among seasons, which has important implications for sustainability management. After 12 months of data collection, the SARCA team has examined almost 4,500 specimens of Ayers. In addition to gathering data on Ayers, the team has also collected data from more than 6,000 individuals of 19 other species of harvested snakes. Although many of these species are used for the meat industry and not for their skins, the SARCA project has significantly advanced the previously unknown scientific understanding of these closely related supply chains.