Snake Count Participant –
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!
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 email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
4. You can mail your datasheets to the Center for Snake Conservation, 1581 Ridgeview Drive, Louisville, CO 80027
The Center for Snake Conservation prides ourselves on living up to our motto “Conservation Through Education” in all of our Science, Conservation, and Education programs. In particular, our Education programs bring live snakes anywhere we are asked (free of charge) to help change human perceptions about snakes. To do this we must maintain a teaching collection of snakes. Each “teacher” (snake) has a specific role in our programs and we look to adopt new snakes to expand our educational programs and what we can teach. We try to maintain a diversity of snakes so we can tailor our programs to any agenda which furthers our mission to educate and conserve snakes.
So…meet our new teacher – a Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus). Green Anacondas are the heaviest snake in the world reaching weights up to 400lbs. These snakes are also the second longest snake in the word reaching lengths over 20 feet. Our new teacher will visit classrooms, scout groups, civil groups, and other venues to educate people about the world’s giant snakes: where they live; how they live; what they eat; and other amazing details of their lives. We will need a name for this snake once it has become acclimated to our human educators and we learn its personality.
This new teacher made her first appearance last Saturady night at the Estes Campground at East Portal just outside Rocky Mountain National Park where a group of 40 kids and adults got to meet her up close and personal. She behaved beautifully after a quick nip (bite) on my wrist but I intentionally wore long sleeves to avoid a messy (bloody) interaction. With time, we anticipate these nips will stop and she will become a model teacher for our programs. We may never fully trust her to be close to our visitors but she can definitely still bring a conservation message to all of our programs.
Center for Snake Conservation
Here are some photos of our new teacher taken with me. She was a bit defensive during the photo shoot (see how she is looking at me trying to figure out if I mean her harm) but regardless of this, she is gorgeous!
Have you ever heard the song Green Anaconda? We highly recommend it for kids of all ages (even the big ones). The link below will take you to a YouTube version of the song. You will be happy you did.