Research Associate, Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society
Location: Rameshwaram Island, India
Research: Conservation and Status of Rameshwaram Parachute Spider, (Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica) in Southern India
Species/Topic: Rameshwaram Parachute Spider (Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica)
|The genus Poecilotheria is popular in pet trade market of USA, UK, Europe and Hong Kong due to its striking colouration, aggressive nature, large and hairy body. After the inclusion of the genus Brachypelma in CITES, the pet trade appears to have shifted focus to Poecilotheria spp. from the Indian subcontinent, which is not protected under any law. Attempt to include a few species of Poecilotheria under CITES and the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act was not successful due to lack of hard-core data. The study proposed is to collect information on population, breeding biology, behaviour, ecology, distribution, threats for Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica on Rameshwaram Island. This is an ideal study situation to understand changes in habitat quality and implications of harvest on arboreal tarantulas. This information will also help fill the gaps for crucial data in listing or not of the spider in CITES and the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.