Spotlight: Tiny Island Is Home to Thousands of Deadly Snakes

Wildlife researchers say Ilha de Queimada Grande has one such snake per square meter

By Laura Sinpetru on February 1st, 2013 14:22 GMT

While some regions struggle with safeguarding their local biodiversity, one island located off the coast of São Paulo, Brazil is presently experiencing an entirely different “problem.”

To cut a long story short, thousands of the world's most venomous snakes now call this 110-acre (roughly 0.5 square kilometers) patch of land their home.

These snakes are known to science as the Golden Lancehead Vipers, and wildlife experts explain that their venom is so strong that those who get bitten more often than not witness their flesh beginning to melt around the puncture wounds.

Nausea, vomiting, internal bleeding, kidney failure, hemorrhage in the brain and severe necrosis of muscular tissue are other symptoms caused by these snakes' bite.

Tree Hugger
reports that, presently, Ilha de Queimada Grande, or Snake Island if you prefer, has one such snake per square meter, and that, because of this, the island is left uninhabited.

Thus, researchers and members of the Brazilian Navy, which runs a lighthouse on this island, are the only people allowed to set foot on Ilha de Queimada Grande.

Still, the Golden Lancehead Viper only lives on this island, which basically means that one unexpected wildfire would be more than enough to force this species into becoming extinct.
The Golden Lancehead Viper only lives on a small island off the coast of Brazil
   The Golden Lancehead Viper only lives on a small island off the coast of Brazil
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