Forestry Department advises caution after Fer-de-Lance found in plantains

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Forestry Department advises caution after Fer-de-Lance found in plantains
The snake in the plantains.
The snake in the plantains.
The snake in the plantains.

PRESS RELEASE – The Department of Forestry and Land Resources, of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology wishes to confirm that a Fer-de-Lance snake was found in a bunch of plantain on Monday morning, July 20, 2015 at the Castries Market.

The Department learnt that the plantain originated from the Ravin Prasson/Bexon area. Our historical records indicate that theses snakes are known to these areas, as well as to other parts of the island.

The snake was successfully taken into the custody of the Forestry Department, and there were no reported mishaps associated with this incident.

We wish to appeal to farmers and people living in areas known as the habitat for the fer –de- lance to be more vigilant when harvesting, loading and transporting goods from these areas. This same advice applies to moving construction material, containers, equipment and other items which may harbour wild animals. A number of invasive species can be inadvertently transported in this way, as we have witnessed over the years.

This is necessary in order to avoid the introduction of wildlife species into public places, at homes as well as into new and unfamiliar habitats. Moreover, it is important to be vigilant for general health and safety of people frequenting regions which are known snake habitats.

The Department of Forestry in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Saint Lucia National Trust and other stakeholder agencies recently developed a plan for managing the fer de lance on the island. This plan also developed clear guidelines for managing human and snake conflicts, including encounters in public places, avoiding snakebites, and the appropriate actions to take if bitten. The plan details these and other measures necessary to help our citizens and visitors manage coexistence with the fer de lance. We expect to be unfolding this plan shortly.

The Department wishes to thank the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and the civilian who helped contain the snake and subsequently handing it over to a Forestry Officer. We wish to take this opportunity to advise all citizens and visitors alike, that they should not attempt to kill, capture or approach any snake.

All persons are advised to contact the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy Science and Technology whenever they encounter any wildlife outside of its natural habitat. The Forestry Department may be contacted at 468-5636.

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  1. IT'S TIME TO START TREATING OUR FER-DE-LANCE AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES BECAUSE IT IS ENDEMIC TO IYANOLA COUPLED WITH ITS IMPORTANCE TO MEDICAL RESEARCH.

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