Snake or Lizard?

The team in the field: Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo, Isildo Nganhane, Rufina Edissone, Justino Araújo, Abel Caetano, Brito Alberto (December, 2022)

Are limbless lizards exposed to an unforeseen threat?

Local communities in Mozambique actively kill snakes regardless of whether they encounter them at home or in the wild, all the while ignoring the presence of lizards and frogs (Farooq et al., 2021). However, a question remains unanswered: Do local communities see limbless lizards as snakes or lizards?

Farooq et al., 2021

In this new project we want to address a few unanswered questions from our previous work in Cabo Delgado.

  1. How is the local knowledge of each individual relating to snake identification and bite in a community compared to the overall knowledge of the community. We hypothesise that local knowledge is retained in a very small fraction of individuals.
  2. Do local communities consider limbless skinks as snakes or as lizards? Or maybe as worms?

To do this we plan to set up a survey in Lumbo where our project is and survey over 1000 people using a complex design of photographs to understand how snakes and lizards are perceived.

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