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.
Cameron and the Center for Snake Conservation