Monthly Archives: April 2012

Press Release – Spring 2012 Snake Count

For immediate release, April 27, 2012

 

Contact: Cameron A. Young, Center for Snake Conservation, (770) 500-000

 

Center for Snake Conservation Sponsors Spring Snake Count—

A Citizen Science Program Focused on Mapping and Conserving Snakes

 

Louisville, CO − Following on the heels of its successful Fall Snake Count last September, the Center for Snake Conservation will be hosting a Spring Snake Count from May 12 – 20, 2012, with the goal of annual spring and fall counts in the future to map and track the distribution of snake species.  This Citizen Science Program encourages everyday “citizens” to get out in nature, learn about snakes, and promote snake conservation by observing and recording snake species in their local area.  

Snakes play vital roles as mid- to top-level predators in our natural ecosystems but they are often misunderstood and feared by humans,” says Cameron Young, founder and executive director of Center for Snake Conservation.  Snakes and other reptiles are among the most imperiled vertebrate species in the world—nearly 25% of all evaluated reptile species are endangered or vulnerable, and the status of another 20% has not been assessed due to lack of data.

Data collected during the Spring Snake Count will be used by the Center Snake Conservation to confirm the existence of rare species and provide baseline data to monitor populations of more common species.  The Snake Count also serves to raise awareness for snake conservation thereby ensuring that this unique predator will continue to persist in our developing world.   

Young encourages families, nature centers, snake enthusiasts, students, local chapters of wildlife organizations, and anyone else with an interest in enjoying and conserving the natural world to become involved and help researchers to learn which species or regions may need focused conservation efforts.

To register for the Spring Snake Count, download a snake count tool kit, become a coordinator, host an event, or just to learn more., go to http://www.snakecount.org/ or contact the Center for Snake Conservation at  770-500-0000 or snakecount@snakeconservation.org.   If you are unable to participate in the Spring Snake Count and would like to further support snake research, education, and conservation, become a member of the Center for Snake Conservation at http://www.snakeconservation.org/home/memberships.

The Center for Snake Conservation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded dedicated to the conservation of all snakes.  The organization’s mission is “to promote the conservation of snakes and their natural ecosystems and implement positive change in human attitudes towards snakes” through education, conservation, and science.   

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Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (SEPARC)

Move over birds, there’s a new count in town.

For over 100 years, the Audubon Society has hosted the Annual Christmas Eve Bird Count, an event where tens of thousands of citizen scientists gather data each year to assist in monitoring bird populations. Now, a new citizen science initiative, spearheaded by the Center for Snake Conservation (CSC), is focusing on scaly wildlife.

The 1st Annual Spring Snake Count will take place from May 12th through May 20th, 2012. The data collected during the counts will help CSC determine the distribution and status of the almost 300 species and subspecies of snakes across the United States. Last fall, the CSC held their 1st Annual Fall Snake Count, and recorded over 43 species in 31 states with the help of volunteers. The CSC is now hoping to document every species in North America.

To assist in snake conservation, all you need is at least 15 minutes, the Snake…

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Spring Snake Count Update

The Center for Snake Conservation (CSC) 2012 Spring Snake Count is less than a month away.  Have you signed up yet?  If not, you can register for the Snake Count here:  www.snakecount.org.  Together we can make this spring’s Snake Count one of the largest events ever dedicated to expanding our knowledge about snakes.  Please forward this email to other people who you think may be interested in helping count snakes this spring.
 
To help with the Snake Count, the CSC is pleased to announce the release of their 2012 Snake Count Tool Kit.  You will find helpful ideas and protocols you need to conduct a snake count in the tool kit.  Take a look and feel free to email your suggestions about what we can add to the tool kit to make it ever more helpful. 
 
As you are aware, snakes play vital roles as mid- to top-level predators in our natural ecosystems but they are often very misunderstood and feared by humans.  This makes conservation efforts for snakes very difficult.  In addition, we lack good geographic distribution records for many species of snakes which limit our ability to adequately measure their conservation needs.  The CSC is working hard to increase our knowledge about snakes, their conservation needs, and to educate people about the important roles snakes play in our world. 
 
Taking part in the CSC 2012 Snake Count is a great way to get outside with family and friends, find snakes, record data, help the CSC promote its mission, and support snake conservation.  The goal during the Snake Count is to document every species of snake that occurs in the United States in a single time period.  This way we can say whether a species still exists and where it occurs in 2012.  The data collected during the Snake Count will also be used by the CSC to map the current distribution of these snakes which will help us confirm the existence of some rare species and provide baseline data to help monitor selected populations of more common species in the future.  For example, during the Fall 2011 Snake Count, we recorded a very rare species (Black Pine Snake – Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus) and had range extensions or new county records for other species.
 
It would take scientists a lifetime to collect the same data that Citizen Scientists can collect in one week during the Snake Count.  Anyone who can identify a snake or even take a picture to submit can provide important information that enables researchers to learn which species or areas may need additional conservation focus and effort. We need everyone’s help to raise the awareness for snake conservation to ensure that they will continue to persist in our developing world.  So, tell your family and friends about the Snake Count.  Better yet, encourage them to sign up and participate.  Citizen Science projects like the Snake Count can be extremely powerful tools for conservation efforts and I think we all can agree that snakes have been ignored in past.  With your help, we can make a difference for snakes.
 
Thank you,
 
Cameron and the Center for Snake Conservation