Author Archives: Center for Snake Conservation

Lucy Grace Slithers By

Center for Snake Conservation Teacher, Lucy Grace, got some outdoor free time today. Snakes move with amazing grace and this short video demonstrates how a Reticulated Python moves in short grass. All the CSC Teachers get outdoor free time when staying with our educators between Educational Program. This keeps the healthy and exercised.

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Fall Snake Count Has Begun!

Snake Count Participant –  

Please share and forward as appropriate – 

Are you ready to count snakes?  The forecast for the opening weekend of the Center for Snake Conservation Fall Snake Count is for more rain at the CSC headquarters.  However, despite the rain, we plan on turning up a few gems this weekend and then count many, many snakes next week.  Follow us on Twitter (@CSCSnakeTweet) or on Instagram (cscsnake) to see what the CSC finds during the Snake Count as we find them.  We have folks registered for the snake count in 47 of the 48 states with snakes (missing Delaware so get there if you can!) so this is going to be an amazing Snake Count!  

The Snake Count is a first step towards understanding the conservation needs of snakes.  We need your help to make it successful.  We are excited to partner with Project Noah (www.projectnoah.org) to help collect and manage data.  Project Noah is a GREAT tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.  Sign up and download their free smartphone app today.  Do not worry; we will still accept data via email, our online webform, or hardcopy if you do not have a smartphone or GPS.  This count is going to be incredible!  Check out the FAQ page on www.snakecount.org to help you have a great Snake Count.  This next week will be a very exciting one here at the CSC and I sincerely hope you can share in our excitement! 

Participants have expressed concern about the collection and potential release of specific geographic locations during the Snake Count and the effect this may have on snake populations. The CSC shares these concerns for many rare, threatened, or endangered species across the world.  Please see the Snake Count FAQ and below for more information about how to protect these sensitive locations.

 

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

Cameron

 

— 

Cameron A. Young
Executive Director
 
 
 

Snake Count Frequently Asked Questions:  You can review the Snake Count FAQs here:  FAQs.

Specific Geographic Location Concerns:  Participants have expressed concern about the collection and potential release of specific geographic locations during the Snake Count and the effect this may have on snake populations.  The CSC shares these concerns for many rare, threatened, or endangered species across the world.  That said, we do ask that you collect and provide data at least to the county level during the Snake Count.  This will help us analyze trends, look for new distributional records, and provide current, accurate data to scientists and state wildlife agencies after the count.  If you use the Project Noah smartphone application, GPS coordinates will automatically be recorded for you.  If the location you are in is sensitive or your secret spot, the Project Noah software will allow you to move the pin for the location.  We ask that you move the pin to the nearest town or other landmark and notify us that the pin was moved in the “comments” field when entering data.  This way we can protect sensitive snakes and locations while conducting a thorough census of snakes during the Snake Count. 

Snake Count Contest:  Herpers are naturally competitive so we added a Contest to the Spring Snake Count.  In short, each snake species in North America has been assigned a point value (Range is 1-50 Points) based on its rarity, detectability, and geographic range.  Bonus Points will be awarded for submission to Project Noah (5 Points Each), New County Records (10 Points Each), and New State Records (Range from 15-50 Points Each).  Prizes will be awarded to the Overall Highest Point total and each Highest Point Total for each Snake Count Region.  We will be announce prizes during the Snake Count which include a personalized Center for Snake Conservation Snake Hook, GoPro Hero 3 (prize pending), and other snake related items. 

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 thesnake count if you are not using the Project Noah software.  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.  If you want to host an event or are interested in having people join you during asnake count, please send us information so we can post it on our event link (send email toevents@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.

Need Help Identifying Snakes?  Send your photo to us and we will identify the snake for you.  Email photos tosnakeID@snakecount.org.  If you are using Project Noah to submit your results, just click on the “Help me identify this species” to alert us and Project Noah’s team of Rangers. 

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 use your smartphone or computer through Project Noah to submit your data. Be sure to enter your spotting into the Snakes of the United States Mission or Snakes of the World Mission.  If you are worried about giving away your secret location, remember to relocate the pin to the nearest city or other landmark.  Please note in the comments that you did this so we can get it into our records.

2.     You can submit data online using the form on the Snake Count website (www.snakecount.org/submit-results)

3.     You can scan and email your datasheet to data@snakecount.org

4.     You can mail your datasheets to the Center for Snake Conservation, 1581 Ridgeview Drive, Louisville, CO  80027

Conserve What We Love

So true which is why the Center for Snake Conservation prides itself on bringing the amazing diversity and world of snakes to people all over the world via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and WordPress.

While social media is instant and fun, it is also very important to promote our mission through personal snake experiences. We do this through our Science, Conservation, and Education programs such as our South Florida Rainbow Snake Rediscovery Expeditions, the Snake Count, low-cost snake surveys and inventories, conservation consultation services, presentations at meetings and events across the country, and Education Programs for the people in the Denver area and anyone who can attend one of our field trips across the United States. Do you want to get involved? Join us and become a Center for Snake Conservation member!

CLICK HERE AND JOIN TODAY!

Announcing Baby Snake Month in September

It is baby snake season – yes that is right: Baby snake season. What does that really mean? It means a lot to a herpetologist but it also should mean a lot to all humans.

To a herpetologist, baby snake season means we are about to find a lot more snakes. We understand that the snake population is going to grow and the baby snakes are going to move around a lot and be easier to find. Unfortunately it also means we will be finding a lot more road killed snakes which is depressing for someone who loves and appreciates these amazing predators.

To other people, baby snake season should be a season of learning and amazement. It is a time when they can find and observe snakes relatively easily. Other times of the year snakes can be almost impossible to find. Not during baby snake season though. Plus baby snakes are tiny and cute (I hardly ever say a snake is cute but if I had to admit it I would). Baby snake season is a perfect time to learn to love and appreciate baby snakes.

September is going to be Baby Snake Month at the Center for Snake Conservation. We are going to bring you lots of baby snakes and tell you about them, where they live, what they eat, and what they become as adults. It is going to be an exciting month so be sure to subscribe to SnakeTalk or like our Facebook page to see them all.

Cameron
Center for Snake Conservation

Baby Yellow-bellied Racer – Coluber constrictor flaviventris

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Baby Prairie Rattlesnake – Crotalus viridis

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Carpet pythons exercising outdoors

A pair of carpet pythons outside for some sun, exercise, and enrichment. This pair are crowd favorites at our presentations with their color, feel, strength, beauty, and size. These are also out favorites because of their good nature and inquisitive personalities. Carpet pythons are from Australia and typically range from 5-10 feet long depending on the variety.

Cameron
Center for Snake Conservation

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What does it mean to be a Center for Snake Conservation Member?

Do you want to make a difference for snakes but just aren’t sure how? By joining the Center for Conservation as a member, you will be a part of an amazing group of people dedicated to changing human perceptions about snakes through education, conservation, and science programs across the world. Click on the image below to join today!

When you join the Center for Snake Conservation, you are joining a community of people who care about snakes and much more. You are supporting a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which relies on donations to make its programs happen.

In addition, there are many ways a member can get involved in what we do and help with our programs. Just this year, we have had members join us in our field efforts in Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida. Members also conducted a snake perception survey at the Claxton Wildlife Festival which used to be a rattlesnake roundup. Our members are an integral part of our Snake Count contributing both time and expertise in helping get folks out to observe snakes. Colorado members also are very involved in our education programs with many becoming presenters themselves (this is local in Colorado right now but we hope to expand this across the US in 2014). Member across the world also help generate the content that you read on our Facebook page by providing photos and stories.

As we grow, so do our membership programs which is leading to success in changing human perceptions about snakes. Together, we can affect change so that snakes, other wildlife, and people can all thrive in our world. Through our memberships, the Center for Snake Conservation will make a difference.

Become a Member – Join Today

Do you want to make a difference for snakes but just aren’t sure how? By joining the Center for Conservation as a member, you will be a part of an amazing group of people dedicated to changing human perceptions about snakes through education, conservation, and science programs across the world. Click on the image below to join today!

Amazon Tree Boa – Sleeping Beauty

As I was walking out the door this morning as the very early hour of 5:45am, I quickly check the snakes to make sure everyone was okay and did not need anything. Our Amazon Tree Boa was sleeping perched high in her inclosure and screamed “take my picture”. I titled this horrible cell phone photo “sleeping beauty” because this snake while dull yellow and an unpredictable attitude is just that – a sleeping beauty.

Cameron
Center for Snake Conservation

Amazon Tree Boa

The Amazon Tree Boa is a fairly commonly found serpent in the Amazon Basin of South America. Although it can be active during the day, they are primarily nocturnal. Adults are usually less than 6 feet long. They are often found at night in trees where they mostly feed on rodents. They come in multiple patterns and color phases, including red, yellow, brown, or gray.

Short-tailed Snake – Lampropeltis extenuata

Short-tailed Snake – Lampropeltis extenuata

The short-tailed snake is a harmless kingsnake that is endemic to Florida and only eats other snakes of the genus Tantilla. Very little is known about this snake except that its habitat is disappearing fast! They occur in the sandhills of Florida which unfortunately is exactly where humans like to put houses and shopping centers. The short-tailed snake pictured above is an anerythristic individual so it does not have the orange blotches that these snakes typically can have.

Check out the photos on the Florida Museum of Natural History website for photos of more typical short-tailed snakes (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-guide/lampropeltisextenuata.htm). A neat snake that the Center for Snake Conservation will continue to watch out for as we do not know much about it or its conservation needs.

Photo by Zack West.

Conservation Through Education

Western Coachwhip – Coluber flagellum testaceus

Western Coachwhip – Coluber flagellum testaceus

The Western Coachwhip is a large (can grow to over 7 feet long), slender snake with a great personality. Yes, this species definitely has character! Coachwhips are diurnal snakes and show signs of high intelligence. This species has been known to follow humans through the habitat watching for any small lizard, insect, or mammal to be flushed as an easy meal. When pursued, coachwhips will climb the nearest bush, shrub, or tree and then face their attacker–striking at their attacker’s face to defend themselves.

Western coachwhips can be red, pink, brown, or grey. Overall, they are extremely pretty.

Photo by Ashley Tubbs.

Conservation Through Education