The stress physiology of sea snakes

Shawn Dsouza, Udita Bansal, Chetan Rao, Muralidharan M., Kartik Shanker, and Maria Thaker

Stress is a mechanism for the survival of species, it drives animals to find food, avoid predators and mate. With increasing human activity, other animal populations are now facing new and different stressors. This chronic stress may have far-reaching detrimental effects for animals.

Sea snakes now co-exist with humans in their environment throughout their range. Bycatch in fisheries is a major threat to their survival. Our work in Malvan has revealed that mortality rates in bycatch vary by species.

This project aims to answer the following questions,

  1. Do fishing interactions elicit stress responses in sea snakes?
  2. Does this response vary according to the gear that they are caught in?
  3. Does stress response vary among species?

Using a combination of lab and field methods including, field experiments, fisheries dependent methods and enzyme immunoassays we aim to answer these questions.

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