Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 11, pp 6877–6901 | Cite as

A review on human attitudes towards reptiles in Brazil

  • Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
  • Kleber Silva Vieira
  • Gindomar Gomes Santana
  • Washington Luiz Silva Vieira
  • Waltécio Oliveira Almeida
  • Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto
  • Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira Montenegro
  • Juarez Carlos Brito Pezzuti
Article

Abstract

For many millennia humans and reptiles have interacted, but the attitude of humans towards these animals has depended on culture, environment, and personal experience. At least 719 reptile species are known to occur in Brazil and about 11% of this fauna has been exploited for many different purposes, including bushmeat, leather, ornamental and magic/religious uses, and as folk medicines. Brazil can therefore serve as an interesting case study for better understanding reptile use by human societies, and the present paper catalogues some of the reptile species being used in Brazil and discusses implications for their conservation. A literature review indicated that 81 reptile species are culturally important in this country, with 47 (58%) species having multiple uses, 54 being used for medicinal purposes, 38 as food, 28 for ornamental or decorative purposes, 20 used in magic/religious practices, 18 as pets, and 40 are commonly killed when they come into contact with humans. Regarding their conservation status, 30 (37.5%) are included on State's Red List, Brazilian Red List or the IUCN Red List. There are many forms of interaction between reptiles and humans in Brazil—although most of them are quite negative in terms of wildlife conservation—which reinforces the importance of understanding such uses and interactions in the context of protecting reptiles in Brazil. A better understanding of the cultural, social, and traditional roles of these reptiles is fundamental to establishing management plans for their sustainable use.

Keywords

Conservation Ethnozoology Ethnoherpetology Wildlife use 

Notes

Acknowledgments

To UEPB, UFPB, UFRN, UFPA, and URCA for all the support. The first author would like to acknowledge to CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) for providing a research fellowship.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega Alves
    • 1
  • Kleber Silva Vieira
    • 2
  • Gindomar Gomes Santana
    • 3
  • Washington Luiz Silva Vieira
    • 2
  • Waltécio Oliveira Almeida
    • 4
  • Wedson Medeiros Silva Souto
    • 2
  • Paulo Fernando Guedes Pereira Montenegro
    • 5
  • Juarez Carlos Brito Pezzuti
    • 6
  1. 1.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade Estadual da ParaíbaCampina GrandeBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia da Universidade Federal da ParaíbaPrograma de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia), Laboratório de Ecofisiologia AnimalJoão PessoaBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Botânica, Ecologia e Zoologia, Bolsista de Desenvolvimento Científico Regional (DCR/CNPq/FAPERN), Ecologia e Zoologia, Laboratório de Ecologia e Conservação da Biodiversidade (LECOB), Centro de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Química Biológica Bolsista Produtividade da Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—FUNCAPUniversidade Regional do CaririCratoBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia da Universidade Federal da ParaíbaLaboratório de Ecofisiologia AnimalJoão PessoaBrazil
  6. 6.Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos—NAEAUniversidade Federal do Pará—UFPABelemBrazil

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