Using models to predict the ranges of 78 venomous snake species across the Americas, researchers at the University of Kansas’ Biodiversity Institute found snakebite risk areas could increase significantly. By 2050, they could reach as far north as Alberta and Quebec and southward into Argentina and Chile.
The increasing risk of snakebites would especially threaten remote, rural areas that are ill-equipped to handle poisonings.
Lead researcher Dr. Carlos Yañez-Arenas said in an interview he was interested in developing models predicting poisonous snake invasions because snakebites are already a major health problem in many countries. In the Americas, around 300,000 people are bitten annually and between 650 to 3,500 die from the bite.