Fer-de-Lance safety for Saint Lucians

Fer-de-Lance safety for Saint Lucians


PRESS RELEASE – Activities promoting the safe handling of the Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops caribbaeus) will be undertaken during the week of 25th to 29th January 2016.

Trainers from the Kentucky Reptile Zoo (KRZ) and local Medical Doctors have been engaged to conduct training sessions. KRZ is a co-funder of this project and is also known for housing one of the largest collections of venomous snakes in the world.

The target groups for these training sessions include, Forest Rangers, Utility Workers, Surveyors, Babonneau Youth Synergy, Saint Lucia National Trust, Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, Farmers and residents in snake-prone communities.

This initiative is jointly implemented by the SLNT and the Forestry and Land Resources Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology (MSDEST) and forms part of a Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) funded project entitled “Conservation and Management of the Endemic Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops caribbaeus) on the small island developing state of Saint Lucia”.

Among a few other objectives, the project seeks to implement some of the actions recommended by the five-year Fer-de-Lance Management Plan which was developed in late 2014 through a consultative process in collaboration with the MSDEST, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Fauna and Flora International.

As it relates to this component of the project, this Training will seek to: (i)  Implement actions to ensure that people at risk of snake bite because of their work or where they live get training and get access to subsidized resources to prevent snake bite and allow them to access health care effectively if they are bitten; (ii) Develop, implement and monitor a zero-kill policy for the Fer-de-Lance within all Forest Reserves in Saint Lucia and (iii) Reduce the risk and complications from snake bites by increasing public awareness through disseminating factual information in communities and to workers with a high probability of encountering the viper.

It is vital that Saint Lucia implement measures to ensure that the Fer-de-Lance is protected because it is endemic to our island and its eradication will result in its extinction. Preliminary research has also revealed that the Fer-de-Lance may also contain substances that may be beneficial to the medicinal community.

The Training sessions include:

-Snake Bite Safety Training – 25th January 2016

-Fer-de-Lance Handling Training for Forestry Officers – 26th and 29th January 2016

Additionally, we invite residents from Dennery, Millet, Anse La Raye and surrounding communities to attend the Community Meetings held in their districts to learn about the Fer-de-Lance and how to protect themselves and their families.

-Community Meeting at Chateau Heritage, By-Pass Road, Dennery –Wednesday, 27th January 2016 from 4:00 p.m.

-Community Meeting at Tete Chemin Community Centre, Millet – Thursday, 28th January 2016 from 4:00 p.m.

For more information please contact the Saint Lucia National Trust at 452-5005 or email: [email protected] or the Forestry Department at 468-5636 or email: [email protected]


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  1. Statisticly the snake is a valuable resource to the people of St Lucia for its ability to control rodents. This is something that may not be obvious to most unless you just happen to be a farmer where the snakes are in decline. If you do some research you will see what happens when man trys to alter nature. Mongoose great example. Curently the venom of this snake is being studied. Many snake venom's are being studied for medical uses . And some are already being used for such. So I think it would be a great idea if people could educate themselves on the habits of this snake. Instead of killing a possible medical breakthrough.


    • Oh wow, Praslin has too. It's really good that the Government is interested in the safety of the people and they trying to train them so that they know what to do when they see one. Maybe the residents or community representative should send something to Forestry asking for a training session in Praslin too.


  2. which is more important the people of st lucia of the killer snakes i wish my farmers would destroy all the fer de lance and vipers they are talking about st lucia have nothing to profit from these snakes more money for funeral homes slp worry about winning election door knobs


    • If the people were not more important the Government wouldn't be wasting it's time to do a training sessions in the communities with the farmers to help them protect themselves and know what to when they see one. Actually, attempting to kill the snake is putting yourself more at risk to getting bitten by the snake. If you leave the snake alone it will run and hide.


  3. what a waste of taxpayers money what can we profit from the snakes read between the line how to protect ourseleves from them which is more important snakes or the people of st lucia do you even a zoo to exibit them why dont you guys save youselfs from voting out of the coming election crap farmers kill as much as you can see because it will be the other way wrong


    • You people don't read and are so negative! Didn't you read what the article says, It says "Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) funded project" . You getting international funding to do this. I have worked with Government before and trust me, I know how hard it is to getting funding for projects from the UN and GEF and for them to approve a project like that it must be important.


  4. 1000sends of people around the world die every year from snake bites. only a dead snake is a good snake. kill them !


    • Snakes maintain an ecological balance. So a dead snake is not a good snake because if it aint 'dead' long enough the nerves could kick in and it could give you a potentially fatal bite still. Learn to live in harmony...don't kill unnecessarily!


      • I agree. If they had some more about the place we wouldn't have so many rats around the place. And that would be good for the farmers too because they wouldn't have to worry too much about rat eating some of their produce.


    • The best snake is a dead snake. There are just too many two-legged ones in government and politics today from top to bottom, and from all the cardinal points.


    • Yeah and millions of people die from car crash every year! Maybe they should stop making cars! Have you thought about that.


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