May 22, 2024

Increased risk of bites: Venomous snakes are migrating to new countries due to global warming

Of the approximately 3,500 species of snakes worldwide, 600 are considered venomous, of which 200 are considered medically relevant – here the Aruba rattlesnake.

Roland Weyrauch/Keystone

As temperatures rise, animals search for new habitats. They migrate, including venomous species of snakes. Many countries are not ready for this. The risk of being bitten increases. With us too?

no time? Blue News sums it up for you

  • Animals are adapting to rising temperatures caused by climate change by finding new habitats.
  • In one study, researchers have now examined the potential migration routes of 209 different species of venomous snakes.
  • Therefore, Nepal, Niger, Namibia, China and Myanmar will have to deal with the most venomous snake species in the future.

Climate change will likely lead to a large-scale migration of venomous snake species to new areas and unprepared countries, according to a study. The researchers predict that in a warmer climate, Nepal, Niger, Namibia, China and Myanmar will have more venomous snake species than neighboring countries.

People in low-income countries in South and Southeast Asia and parts of Africa will be particularly affected by an increasing number of snake bites, according to study results published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health.

While the majority of venomous snake species will have to accept a decline in their range due to the loss of tropical and subtropical ecosystems, the habitat of some species such as the Gaboon viper in West Africa will increase by up to 250 percent, according to the researchers. ‘Climate prediction. The range of the horned snake will double by 2070.

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Snakes do not respect boundaries

“Our research shows that the appearance of venomous snakes in new places is a wake-up call for us to think about how to protect ourselves and our environment,” say the study authors.

The World Health Organization estimates that between 1.8 and 2.7 million people are bitten by venomous snakes each year, resulting in up to 138,000 deaths and at least 400,000 amputations and permanent disabilities.

The World Health Organization ranked snakebite envenoming as one of the highest priority neglected tropical diseases in 2017.

The study highlights the need for countries with a high probability of snake bites to work with their neighbours. After all, international limits do not apply to snakes, only to humans.