The Atlantic Rainforest snake species, Bothrops jararaca (a species of pit viper) is one that locals hold in the highest regard and with good reason. It is dangerous only if one steps on one and accidently get bitten. According to serpent specialists, research biologists, snakes are not uncommon in REGUA’s forests.
I have to admit that although I have walked many times in the forest I have failed to find one. However, I am sure that finding one coiled on the path can be a harrowing experience. In the distant past most local people would kill every snake irrespective of colour, thickness and length.
Today the REGUA rangers know that reptiles form an important part of our biodiverse forests and are not aggressive. They now leave them to their own business, and are helping to spread the word that unless they are inadvertently disturbed, most snakes would slither off into the forest before we are even aware of their presence.
World Land Trust “Keepers of the Wild” project sponsors ranger Rildo da Rosa de Oliveira who found this one by a rock and left it apparently dozing. He didn’t want to look closer!