Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 2037–2049 | Cite as

Reptiles used in traditional folk medicine: conservation implications

  • Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves
  • Washington Luiz da Silva Vieira
  • Gindomar Gomes Santana
Review Paper


The present work provides an overview of the global use of reptiles in traditional folk medicine and the implications for conservation. The results demonstrate that at least 165 reptile species belonging to 104 genera and 30 families are used in traditional folk medicine around the world. Some species are used as sources of drugs for modern medical science. Of the reptiles recorded, 53% are included on lists of endangered species, demonstrating the importance of understanding such medicinal uses in the context of reptile conservation as well as the need for considering socio-cultural factors when establishing management plans directed towards the sustainable use of these reptiles.


Ethnozoology Reptiles Traditional medicines Zootherapy Wildlife conservation 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega Alves
    • 1
  • Washington Luiz da Silva Vieira
    • 2
  • Gindomar Gomes Santana
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual da ParaíbaCampina GrandeBrasil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia), Laboratório e Coleção de Herpetologia, Departamento de Sistemática e EcologiaUniversidade Federal da ParaíbaJoao PessoaBrasil

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