The Reemergence of the Russell’s Viper in Bangladesh: A Growing Threat

The Reemergence of the Russell's Viper in Bangladesh: A Growing Threat

The char areas and the Padma River districts in northwest Bangladesh have witnessed an alarming rise of the venomous Russell’s viper snake in recent years. This snake, which goes by the local names Chandroborha or Uluborha, is to blame for a number of recent fatalities and injuries. This species, which was formerly believed to be extinct in the nation, has returned and poses a serious threat to the surrounding populations.

The Most Venomous Snake in Bangladesh

The Russell’s Viper The most poisonous snake in Bangladesh is the Russell’s viper. This snake can bite victims and produce a variety of serious symptoms, such as kidney damage, nerve damage, heavy eyes, tissue damage, ongoing bleeding, and problems with blood clotting. This species is lethal, but it was thought to have vanished from the area a long time ago. Nonetheless, within the previous ten years, new reports of snake bites have surfaced.

Research Findings on Russell’s Viper

Russell’s Viper Research Findings Professor Farid Ahsan of Chittagong University’s Department of Zoology has studied the resurgence of the Russell’s viper in Bangladesh in great detail. In 2018, his research—which examined 20 instances of Russell’s viper bites that occurred between 2013 and 2016—was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. According to the research, the Russell’s viper may be found in 17 of the 64 districts, with Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj having the largest concentrations. Elements Affecting the Growth The number of Russell’s vipers in Bangladesh has increased as a result of several factors. The habit of growing various crops on the same piece of land is one of the primary causes. In the 1990s, farmers were able to cultivate two or three crops annually and reduce the amount of time the land was fallow thanks to improved irrigation systems. Rats are the main source of food for these snakes, and their population has increased as a result of the ongoing presence of crops. As a result, the snakes now have enough food and a good breeding habitat. Farmers are now more vulnerable to snake attacks since these snakes have moved into agricultural areas due to the decline in impenetrable thickets and abandoned land. Rising river levels during the rainy season may potentially be a factor in the snakes’ entry into Bangladesh from nearby India.

Factors Contributing to the Increase

The Effect on Neighbourhoods Russell’s vipers are most common in the Padma River basin, where they have been reported to be present in water hyacinth-rich locations. These snakes travel from one location to another frequently via water hyacinths. The snake is mostly found in Bangladesh’s north and northwest, although it has also been observed lately in the Patuakhali area in the country’s south. Although Bangladesh has a very low rate of Russell’s viper bites when compared to its neighbours, the threat is nevertheless increasing. The Russell’s viper is thought to be the cause of 43 per cent of snakebite events in India and 30 to 40 per cent of all snakebite incidents in Sri Lanka.

Symptoms and Treatment

Signs and Therapy Russell’s viper bites result in excruciating agony and edoema at the bite site for a short while. The bite can cause low blood pressure, renal failure, and other significant health problems if it is not treated very away. Seeking medical assistance right away is essential to averting these serious consequences

Global and Local Statistics

International and Regional Data Based on data from 2018, the World Health Organisation estimates that every year, 5.4 million people worldwide be bitten by snakes, causing at least 100,000 fatalities. In addition, snake bites cause lasting harm or impairment to almost 400,000 people. According to the WHO’s 2019 report, at least 6,000 people die from snake bites that affect 580,000 people in Bangladesh each year.

Final Thoughts Concern over the Russell’s viper’s resurgence in Bangladesh is mounting, and it needs to be addressed right once. To reduce the risks presented by this venomous snake, more awareness must be raised and adequate medical facilities and preventive measures must be implemented. Protecting the lives and livelihoods of local populations will depend on our ability to identify and manage the reasons contributing to the recurrence of the snake as agricultural practices and environmental circumstances change.

Green Time Editorial Body