This species is endemic to the Western Ghats of southern India, apparently south of the Palghat Gap. The non-specific type locality is "[the] Malabar coast" (probably in the state of Kerala). Other reports come from the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, but have not been verified, partly because of great taxonomic confusion. Populations that might be of this species occur from sea level up to 1,500m asl.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a subterranean species associated with humus-rich, loose, moist soil, and it has been reported from moist evergreen forest, agricultural land and rural gardens. It is probably an oviparous species with terrestrial eggs and aquatic larvae.
The population status of this species is unknown.
Severe habitat destruction has been said to be a potential threat to local populations, but it appears to be reasonably adaptable and is probably not severely threatened. Many additional potential threats have also been suggested, including the use of agrochemicals, changes in soil chemistry, and collection of humus by local people. These all require further investigation, and cannot be confirmed as being serious threats at present.
This species possibly occurs in Wynad Wildife Sanctuary in the state of Kerala.
Red List Status
Data Deficient (DD)
Listed as Data Deficient in view of continuing uncertainties as to its taxonomic status, extent of occurrence and ecological requirements.
The taxonomic status of this species is not well understood (M. Wilkinson pers.comm.).
Sushil Dutta, Gopalakrishna Bhatta, David Gower, Oommen V. Oommen, Mark Wilkinson 2004. Uraeotyphlus oxyurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T59658A11965831. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T59658A11965831.en .Downloaded on 19 February 2019