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Data from: Sacred groves and serpent-gods moderate human-snake relations

Citation

Landry Yuan, Felix et al. (2019), Data from: Sacred groves and serpent-gods moderate human-snake relations, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1rn8pk0pd

Abstract

1. Serpent-god worship is an ancient tradition still practiced in many sacred groves across the Western Ghats of India. Although sacred groves there hold ecological conservation value, few studies have focused on arguably the most iconic taxon in the region, snakes.

2. We thus investigated the impact of sacred groves and snake deity worshipping on attitudes towards snakes by conducting surveys with people who had entered such forests prior.

3. We found that next to none of the participants who had encountered snakes inside sacred groves in the past harmed them under such circumstances. However, nearly a quarter of all participants do harm snakes if encountered outside sacred groves.

4. We also found that a larger proportion of participants who do not harm snakes outside sacred groves worship snake deities, relative to those that do harm them.

5. Our work thus highlights the influence of sacred groves and snake deity worshipping on pacifistic human-snake relations in Southwestern India.

Methods

The variables "acre.size", "mean1kmbuffertreecover" and "impervioussurfacearea1kmpercent" were obtained from ArcGIS, while the rest were collected via surveys.

Usage Notes

This dataset includes all of the data used in the analyses for the study. The variables "acre.size", "mean1kmbuffertreecover" and "impervioussurfacearea1kmpercent" depict, respectively, the size in acres, percentage of tree cover averaged over the area extending 1 km beyond the centrum, and percentage of impervious surface area averaged over the area extending 1 km beyond the centrum of each sacred grove site associated with the given participant.