A zoological catalogue of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil
1 Departamento de Biologia, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba, Av. das Baraúnas, 351/Campus Universitário, Bodocongó, 58109-753, Campina Grande-PB, Brazil
2 Laboratório de Ecofisiologia Animal, Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia da Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
3 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas (Zoologia), Laboratório de Ecofisiologia Animal, Departamento de Sistemática e Ecologia da Universidade Federal da Paraíba, 58051-900, João Pessoa, PB, Brazil
4 Departamento de Química Biológica, Bolsista Produtividade da Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico — FUNCAP, Universidade Regional do Cariri, Rua Cel. Antônio Luiz 1161, CEP, 63100-000, Crato, CE, Brazil
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2012, 8:27 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-8-27Published: 30 July 2012
The variety of interactions between human cultures and herpetofauna is the subject matter of Ethnoherpetology, a subdivision of Ethnozoology. In the semi-arid region of Brazil, many reptiles interact with human communities because of their utility or because of the risks they represent. These interactions have obvious implications for the conservation of reptiles from this region.In this context, ethnoherpetology studies are crucial because they serve as subsidies for guiding strategies for the handling and conservation of reptiles. This paper presents ethnozoological and taxonomic informations of hunted reptiles in the semiarid region of Brazil and analyse the implications on conservation that are related to the interactions between people and reptiles in this region. Taxonomic keys to identifying recorded reptiles are provided. Records of humans interacting with 38 reptile species that belong to 31 genuses and 16 families have been found. The groups with the largest numbers of recorded species were snakes (18 species), and this group was followed in number by lizards (13), chelonians (4), and crocodilians (3). The reptiles that were recorded may be used for the following purposes: medicinal purposes (24 species), food (13 species), ornamental or decorative purposes (11 species), in magical/religious practices (10 species), and as pets (10 species). Some species (n = 16) may have multiple uses. Furthermore, more than half of the species (n = 19) are commonly killed because they are considered potentially dangerous. Strategies for conserving the reptiles of the Brazilian semi-arid region must reconcile and integrate human and conservation needs.