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Discover the island of São Paulo, which does not receive visitors because of its control by snakes

Discover the island of São Paulo, which does not receive visitors because of its control by snakes

On the coast of the state of São Paulo, specifically between the cities of Itanheim and Beruipe, there is an island with an area of ​​430,000 square meters that no citizen can set foot on. This is because the species Bothrops insularisJararaka Islandone of the most venomous creatures in the world, took advantage of its 10,000 years of isolation to take over Snake Island.

Officially called Ilha da Queimada Grande, the area belongs to the Cananéia-Iguape-Peruíbe Environmental Protection Area. It has no sandy beaches or bays. Therefore, authorized persons descend on slippery rocky platforms.

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The decision to prohibit entry to the general public is to protect both people from snakes and snakes from people. The island is the second most densely populated snake island in the world, behind only Shidao Island in China.

Need for adaptation of island snakes

The Brown Jararaca, a relative of the island Jararaca, is originally from Ilha das Cobra
Brown Jararaka, a relative of the island of Jararaka, lives on the mainland | Photo: Wikimedia/Renato Augusto Martins

Unlike its mainland relatives, the island jararaka is adapted to climbing trees, its menu on the island being limited to birds. The snake’s venom has also become more powerful, as the prey must die instantly, without the risk of escaping into the sea. The snake’s color has become less striking, between yellowish brown and soft brown.

The waters surrounding the island usually have good visibility and are full of fish and turtle species. Usually, these animals are not part of the snake menu.

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The island’s official name “Queimada Grande” also has historical support. The overpopulation of snakes has created so much fear in people that the Brazilian Navy actually set the place on fire as a way to control the population. People on the mainland can see the fires.