|Name/Common Name||:||Ball Python|
|Scientific Name||:||Python Regius|
Central & Western Africa
Large populations exist but are being reduced due to excessive habitat destruction, skin trade and the pet trade. In some collected areas the populations remain stable due to agricultural activities and the created artificial rat populations. In Ghana, Africa the ball python trade is regulated by the government and attention is put into keeping a viable population of adults in the wild to create the next generations for future collection. Gravid females are collected and then returned to the wild by government officials; a percentage of the babies hatched are also being released back into the wild. Treating these animals as a sustainable resource has possibly increased the local population range, and may help to secure the future of these animals in the wild. In other countries, however, ball pythons are collected with absolute disregard for the "overall picture" and impact on wild populations, and are sold as meat or living animals. Adults are now being exported in huge numbers to the Asian markets where they are being used for their meat and blood, Recently there has been interest in butchering & canning the ball pythons in Africa for export as a meat product for the Asian markets. This single activity could bring the demise of large populations, as they can not sustain such losses without wiping out entire areas. Until the government takes notice Benin and Togo are draining themselves dry of their ball python populations. .