London, June 9 (ANI): A global study has revealed that snakes may be declining across the world.
As part of the research, scientists from UK, Australia, France, Italy and Nigeria examined records for 17 snake populations covering eight species over the last few decades, and found most had declined markedly.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, some populations shrank in number abruptly around 1998.
The researchers describe the findings as 'alarming' but say much more work is needed to understand the causes.
"This is the first time that data has been analysed in this way, and what we've shown is that in different parts of the world we seem to have this steep decline in a short period," the BBC quoted project leader Chris Reading as saying.
"It surprised us when we realized what we were looking at. And we don't have a clue what it was about that period of time (around 1998)," Reading added.
The study has been published in the journal Biology Letters. (ANI)