Bushmaster Conservation Project


gedoneerd door Herpetofauna


The Bushmaster Conservation Project is a conservation program established by the Herpetological Education & Research Project (H.E.R.P.). It is an attempt to protect and understand the Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) in its natural habitat in the South Caribbean region of Costa Rica. There is no real data on the population size and the home ranges of these enigmatic snakes. This, in combination with the rarity of the species and their preference for vulnerable primary rainforests as habitat, is a cause for concern.

The effort has been set in motion by five passionate herpetologists and naturalists, committed to protecting and studying their favorite snake species, the bushmaster. The project is housed in a biological research station, located in the middle of the primary rain forests of the indigenous reserve of Kéköldi.

The project revolves around three important research themes:

Spatial Ecology
Understanding the spatial ecology of a species is crucial for proper conservation. To better understand the spatial ecology of the bushmaster, specimens are being monitored and studied in the reserve using various monitoring and tracking techniques

Reproductive behavior
Intra-specific interactions are only rarely observed in bushmasters. The reproductive behavior of wild specimens is also relatively unknown. The project attempts to observe the mating and nesting behavior and aims to report on other intraspecific interactions. By understanding these behaviors conservation initiatives can ensure all factors are in place for successful propagation

Considering the rarity of observations in the wild, little research has been done on the behavior of the bushmaster. Following wild specimens and the monitoring of their daily activities can help shed light on the ethology of these snakes. This helps to map factors that negatively impact the species survival

Conservation is the pillar behind the project. The only way to preserve the species is to protect its habitat, the primary goal of the project. By using this species as a flagship species, primary rain forests such as the Kéköldi Indigenous Reserve can be protected.

For more information visit www.bushmasterproject.com