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Team Snake Panama launches Project BRASS: Bites Reduced and Snakes Saved

Team Snake Panama logo
Team Snake Panama logoShannon Bowley

Team Snake Panama, based at La MICA Biological Station in central Panama, strives to reduce the number of venomous snakebites while conserving all species of snakes. Our efforts are focused in Panama and Costa Rica and include research, educational programs, and outreach.

Because education is so important to their objectives, they have just launched a new project. They strive to distribute information to communities, especially rural areas, on the identification of and co-existence with snakes. To do so, they will visit communities throughout Panama and Costa Rica to deliver a talk about local snakes and snakebite prevention, donate a copy of their bilingual book The Venomous Snakes and their Mimics of Panama and Costa Rica to health clinics and schools, interact with local people to understand their fears and needs, and participate in guided tours led by residents to better understand the habits and distribution of each species of snake so that snakebite prevention and treatment can be improved.

Background information: A recent publication reported 600 annual venomous snakebites in Costa Rica and a staggering 2800 annually in Panama! These numbers included just those cases treated in medical centers; in many remote areas, traditional (but ineffective and even dangerous) methods still are used for those who are unable or unwilling to go to a hospital. Because of these high numbers, many people kill every snake they see, despite the fact that most species are harmless to humans, their pets, and livestock. Many people have asked Team Snake Panama to help them understand which species are dangerous so they can help protect themselves, as well as the snakes, which are important inhabitants of their shared environment, serving such valuable functions as consuming and controlling food and health pests like rodents. Team Snake Panama has decided that now is the time for this essential educational experience!

Their current goal is to raise $12,500, to allow for visits to 125 communities ($100/site) throughout Panama and Costa Rica to deliver a presentation about identification of and co-existence with snakes and donate a copy of our book to the community. Every donation will make a huge difference and allow for more sites to be visited.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to this important project:
Online donations can be submitted at: www.lamica.org/Donate.html
Checks can be made to: Cloud Forest Institute*, P.O. Box 1435, Ukiah, CA 95482
Please note “La MICA” on the memo line of your check.

*Cloud Forest Institute is the US-based 501c3 educational non-profit fiscal sponsor of La MICA Biological Station. Tax deductible donations restricted for use for La MICA can be made out to Cloud Forest Institute and mailed to the address above. Online donations can be made through PayPal. Be sure to note La MICA on check memo lines.