Location: The Atlantic coastal forests
of Brazil is much smaller and more threatened than the vast Amazon
The Atlantic coastal forest of Brazil is less
well known than the Amazon rainforest but it is much more threatened
by deforestation and destruction, almost 90% of the forest has now
disappeared and with it many species of flora and fauna. Emotive
mammals and birds like the lion tamarin monkeys and Spixs
macaw are threatened with extinction, but so are many reptiles.
The bushmasters are the largest venomous snakes in Latin America
but they are amongst the most secretive and little known. These
large pitvipers are also the only egg-laying vipers in the Americas.
Two species occur in Costa Rica and Panama and a further species
inhabits the Amazon and Orinoco Basins. A subspecies of the Amazonian
species inhabits the endangered Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil.
Since it can only survive in pristine humid tropical rainforest
it is much more at risk from habitat destruction than the more ubiquitous
lancehead pitvipers of the genus Bothrops. Mark teams up
with Brazils two top bushmaster experts to try and find this
rare and highly venomous serpent in what remains of it fragmented
environment. Will they succeed in what seems an impossible task
A close view of the Atlantic coastal bushmaster
(Lachesis nuta rhombeata), the most endangered of the four bushmasters.
||South American toad
|Hyla sp. A (Bahia, Brazil)
|Hyla sp. B (Alagoas, Brazil)
|Hyla sp. C (Alagoas, Brazil)
||Bahia two-striped robber fog
||Cosmopolitan house gecko
|Enyalius catenatus catenatus
|Mabuya sp. (Bahia)
||LAVA & TREE LIZARDS
|Xenodon rabdocephalus rabdocephalus
||VIPERS & PITVIPERS
|Lachesis muta rhombeata
||Atlantic coastal bushmaster
Location: Our bushmaster search centered around Itabuna in Bahia
and the small village of Quebrangulo (not marked) in Alagoas.
Mark O'Shea and Brazilian bushmaster expert Anibal Melgarejo Gimenez
from Instituto Vital Brasil.