Blog Archives

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

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New Teacher – Green Anaconda

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.

Cameron
Execute Director
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.


Green Anaconda

Snakes of the United States Project Noah Mission – January 11, 2013 Update

This week at Project Noah, I am pleased to report that the Snakes of the United States – Center for Snake Conservation (CSC) mission has had an addition of 12 new spottings bringing the total number of snake spottings to 1,259. I am also pleased to report we added 9 new members to the mission, bringing the total to 535 users.
Please consider becoming a Project Noah member (it is free) and help make the world a better and safer place by educating the world about snakes! (We do make provisions for sensitive species asking that you merely record the nearest large town/community. Out goal is to conserve through education.
The Center for Snake Conservation needs your help to collect distributional data for all wild snakes in the United States. Please record all snakes including any snakes found dead on a road or elsewhere. Please include additional information about your spotting that can help us understand a bit more about the snake. As we collect spottings, we can increase our knowledge about snakes and help educate others that view our photos. Snakes are often unnecessarily feared and we can help change the human perception through our postings on Project Noah.www.projecthoah.org
Project Noah Snake Spotting of the Week
 
Florida Brownsnake – Storeria victa by Janson Jones
Many people would see a snake this size and automatically conclude that it is a baby snake. The fact is that many of our U.S. snakes get no bigger around than a number 2 pencil and may only reach a length of around a foot or less as adults. They are often secretive and spend much of the time underground, beneathe decaying logs/root balls or in leafy debris. The Florida brownsnake feeds on slugs, snails, and earthworms, but occasionally eats small fishes, frogs, and salamanders.
Last week at Project Noah, I am pleased to report that the Snakes of the United States – Center for Snake Conservation (CSC) mission has had an addition of 17 new spottings bringing the total number of snake spottings to 1,247. I am also pleased to report we added 16 new members to the mission, bringing the total to 526 users.
 
If you are a Project Noah member and wish to help us improve the database by recruiting new members and spottings to the CSC mission, please email Lisa Powers: froghavenfarm@hotmail.com
Project Noah Snake Spotting of the Week
 
Western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). The color pattern generally consists of a dusty looking gray-brown ground color, but it may also be pinkish brown, brick red, yellowish, pinkish or chalky white. This ground color is overlaid dorsally with a series of 24-25 dorsal body blotches that are dark gray-brown to brown in color. Adults commonly grow to 120 cm (3.9 ft) in length, specimens over 150 cm (4.9 ft) are more rarely encountered. Western diamond-backed rattlesnakes are found in the United States from central Arkansas and southeastern California, south into Mexico. Life expectancy is more than 20 years, but is typically shorter because of hunting and human expansion. They are also heavily collected from the wild, frequently being drawn out of their hiding places with gasoline, and used in Rattlesnake Round-Ups where they are killed for entertainment

 

Lisa Powers
Froghaven Farm
www.froghavenfarm.com

Tell me and I forget; Show me and I remember; Involve me and I understand.

DOS – dead on sidewalk

image

As a herpetologist, I am often referring to roadkill as DOR (dead on road).  Yesterday I found a DOS (dead on sidewalk) wandering gartersnake.  What killed it?  A bike, a foot, a lawnmower?

Make your guess from the photo of the DOS.