Monthly Archives: May 2012

Education Leads Directly to Snake Conservation

ImageSnakes are integral and critical components of our natural ecosystems but are often ignored during conservation efforts.  We can change this by talking about snakes every chance we can.  Tell a friend, family member, or someone you do not know about the Center for Snake Conservation and check out their reaction.  Was it positive or fearful?  Snakes often solicit emotional responses in humans.  If the person was fearful, ask them to visit our Snake of the Day website (www.snakeoftheday.snakeconservation.org) to learn about some of the snakes in their backyard.  You will be surprised how far a little education can help shift emotions from fear to fascination.  This shift will create additional opportunities to educate more people about the roles snakes play in our world.  Only then can we affect change in the conservation actions for snakes.  Think about it the next time you see this person and they tell you how the rescued a snake from certain death on a road instead of aiming for it with their tires.  We can do this but the Center for Snake Conservation needs your help.  Conservation Through Education – Let’s Make Snakes Matter!

 Here is a comment we received recently that drives home this message:

 

“A success story for you.

 

I’m a high school soccer referee. I was at the the Loveland Sports Park in Loveland earlier this week to referee a game. During warmups 3 soccer balls ended up behind one of the goals. A number of people gathered around, but no one was picking up the balls. I went over and there was a snake next to the balls.

I had gone to the presentation you put on at REI in Boulder recently. Instead of panicking, I was more interested in looking at the snake. It was probably a bull snake. It was curled up and more scared of us than we were of it. Everyone backed away form the snake and it crawled off, allowing the balls to be retrieved.

So, thanks for the class at REI and changing my attitude about snakes.”

 

Are You Ready to Count Snakes?

Rain!  The forecast for the opening weekend of the Spring Snake Count is for cold and rain at the CSC headquarters.  While this may deter many snakes from getting out and about, I am pretty sure we can turn up a few gems this weekend and then count many, many snakes next week.  Follow us on Twitter (@CSCSnakeTweet) to see what the CSC finds during the Snake Count as we find them. 

The Snake Count is a first step towards understanding the conservation needs of snakes.  We need your help to make it successful.  There are nearly 400 people signed up in 47 states (missing Delaware, Alaska, and Hawaii—last two do not count) and 4 Canadian provinces.  This count is going to be incredible!  Below are few highlights from the Snake Count webpage to help you have a great Snake Count.  Next week will be a very exciting one here at the CSC and I sincerely hope you can share in our excitement! 

Thank you, please be safe, and have fun counting snakes!

Cameron

 Snake Count T-shirts:  We are selling Snake Count T-shirts through the CSC CafePress online store.  Get yours today!   http://www.cafepress.com/centerforsnakeconservation 

Facebook:  We will be posting daily results of the Snake Count on our Facebook page.  Don’t forget to go to the CSC Facebook page and “like” us to stay updated.

Snake Count Toolkits:  Don’t forget to visit the Snake Count Toolkit for datasheets and protocols to use during the snake count.  Snake Count Tool Kit

Events:  Do you want or need to look for snakes with someone else?  There are several events being organized by CSC volunteers across the country.  Go here (www.snakecount.org/events) to see if there is an event near you.  If you want to host an event or are interested in having people join you during a snake count, please send us information so we can post it on our event link (send email to events@snakecount.org). 

Prizes:  Yes, we will be giving away prizes to individuals who count the most snakes during the Snake Count.  We will also be drawing random names from the list of registered participants to give away free CSC memberships throughout the week. 

Photo Contest:  Do not forget to enter your best photos into the Snake Count Photo Contest!  For official rules, view the photos other people have submitted, and to submit your own photos, click here.  There will be four categories to enter!  

Need Help Identifying Snakes?  Send your photo to us and we will identify the snake for you.  Email photos to snakeID@snakecount.org. 

Official Snake Names:  The CSC has adopted an easy to use 9-letter shorthand code for snakes in North America.  You simply use the first three letters of the genus, species, and subspecies to record a snake with NO overlap.  If the species does not have a subspecies, simply enter XXX at the end of the code to make it nine-letters long.  If you don’t know the scientific name of the snakes you observe, you can find the 9-letter code for each species in the state lists on the Snake Count website here.  Please use this code on your datasheets to help simplify and organize your data.  If all else fails, just write in what you know and we can figure it out. 

Reporting results:  There are 3 ways you can submit your observations from the Snake Count. 

  1.  You can submit data online using the form on the Snake Count website (www.snakecount.org/submit-results)
  2.  You can scan and email your datasheet to data@snakecount.org
  3. You can mail your datasheets to the Center for Snake Conservation, 1581 Ridgeview Drive, Louisville, CO  80027