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Thursday 12 July 2012   | Costa Rica News Home | Colombia News



Costa Rica: Two Poisonous Snakes For Every Hectare

Snakes are one of the most feared animals by people, and Costa Rica is full of them. According to research by the Instituto Clodomiro Picado, there are at least two venomous snakes for every hectare (10.000 square metres), an area equal to two community central parks.


A Fer de lance viper. One of the most aggressive and feared venomous snakes in Central America.


Each year in Costa Rica there are some 600 bites by poisonous snakes reported. In recent months, two of the bites were fatal.

The Clodomiro Picado is always open for calls of alert by people.

"It's normal for people to be nervous. Costa Rica has good conditions for snakes to live. Deforestation also affects them as they run out of habitat and look for places where people are. Generally, the animal bites because it is frightened animal bites, or because it is bothered," commented Fabian Bonilla of the Clodomiro Picado Institute.

The fer-de-lance also known as the lancehead, and terciopelo by Costa Ricans are the snake that causes the most problems, responsible for between 70 and 100 bites a year. Of the 128 species of snakes found in Costa Rica, only 18 are poisonous.

The fer-de-lance is one of the world's most venomous snakes. It can reach lengths up to 3 meters (10 feet). Its body colour varies, with olive green, gray, tan, brown or rust blotches, which are usually separated by light edging. The fer-de-lance inhabits a variety of habitats. It can be found in overgrown fields and river courses in drier lowland regions, as well as mountain, deciduous wet forests. It is often found near human cultivation as well. It is generally a nocturnal snake, however if stepped on or encountered during the day, they are quick to strike. As juveniles, the fer-de-lance is an arboreal snake that feed on lizards and frogs, which they attract with a yellow-tipped tail. As adults they come down and rest in loose leave litter on the forest floor.

Costa Rica has most of the antidotes against the venom of poisonous snakes, with 90% of those bitten saved.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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