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A study on the biodiversity of snake island in South Andaman

Bitopan Malakar, S. Venu, B. Santhosh Ram, M.P. Prabhakaran

Department of Ocean Studies & Marine Biology, Pondicherry University, Brookshabad Campus, Port Blair, A & N Islands, India

Department of Biological Oceanography, School of Ocean Studies and Technology, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Panangad, Kerala, India

Key words: Snake Island, Islet, Biodiversity, Coral Pool, Intertidal.


543e376258544c134c0670ce_snake-island-brazil-ocean-660x494Snake Island is an uninhabited small rocky islet off Carbyn’s Cove in Port Blair, Andaman. The biodiversity of this rocky island is its distinctive feature as it becomes a small habitat for various organisms close to the open sea. During this present study a total no. of 217 species were recorded out of which 205 has been identified. Pisces was the dominant group, followed by cnidarians, molluscs, arthropods etc. The island is highly influenced by sea water as during high tides nearly 75 % of the island is submerged by seawater. This is the reason of dominance of marine organisms (94 %) over terrestrial organisms (6 %) in the island. Another characteristic feature of the island is the formation of numerous rocky and sandy water channels and the presence of a ‘coral pool’ at the end of one such channel on the north-eastern part of the island. During high tide these channels are filled with water and exchange of seawater takes place in the coral pool, where highest diversity of species was observed. Lack of intertidal species in the island is evident due to the high action of waves from the open sea and lack of hiding areas other than rocky crevices.

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