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You may count snakes any time but the Spring Snake Count will begin 12:00 am May 18th until 11:59 pm May 27rd, 2013. You can count snakes during the day or night. We suggest that you learn about the habits of the snakes in your area to increase your chance of success during the Snake Count. Please use the resources found on the Snake Count website to help guide your research.
You can count snakes anywhere: in your backyard, at a local park or nature center, or wherever think you can find a snake. Be sure to know the federal, state, and local laws that may protect some snakes in your area before you catch any snakes.
Yes, kids are encouraged to participate in the Snake Count. The Snake Count is a great way to get kids outdoors and excited about nature. Looking for snakes can be very challenging so it is important to make it fun for kids. Here are some suggestions to ensure that everyone has a great time on the Snake Count:
· Stay close to home to avoid long drives. Snakes can be everywhere including local parks.
· Use the Snake Count Scavenger Hunt to keep kids engaged and actively participating (link will be available March 2013).
· Keep a checklist of all the wildlife observed (not just snakes) - Upload them to Project Noah.
· Take photographs of flowers, people, and habitats in addition to the snakes you see to view later at home to remember the fun had on the Snake Count
· Make a collage with all the pictures you took on the Snake Count and submit it to the CSC for inclusion on the Snake Count website
Yes. The CSC recommends that Snake Count participants observe snakes as opposed to catching them. We prefer this for the safety of Snake Count participants and the snakes. That said, we do understand that snakes provide unique opportunities for us to interact with wildlife on a personal level. Please remember that all snakes (even the non-venomous snakes) have the potential to bite and if handled, should be treated with care and respect. Also, please know your local, state, and federal laws regarding the handling of snakes in the area you are conducting a Snake Count prior to catching any snakes.
There are several online resources that list state laws regarding native snakes. We recommend you visit your state's natural resource or wildlife agency to determine if there are protected species in your area. You should also be aware of the regulations of the park or wildlife area where you plan to count snakes. It is each of our responsibilities to know the laws and regulations before heading out to count snakes. If in doubt, do not catch or handle any snakes. Take a video or photograph of the snake behaving naturally without human interference—these are worth more than catching a snake in our opinion.
Online Resources: Kingsnake.com http://www.kingsnake.com/laws/
Reptile Laws http://reptilelaws.org/
Finding snakes can be difficult at times. Getting outside and spending time in their habitats is the best way to find them. Check out the CSC’s flyer “How to Find Snakes” for help. Good luck!
Venomous snakes occur in most places that are covered by the Snake Count, so encounters are inevitable. If you find a venomous snake, give it plenty of room and respect. Remember that they do not want to bite you and typically only bite when threatened or handled. Do not attempt to catch any venomous snakes. Instead, take a photograph of the snake—not only will the photograph confirm the identification of the snake you saw, it will serve as a keepsake of your encounter with one of North America’s most fascinating creatures.
While we cannot prohibit the collection of wild snakes, the Center for Snake Conservation discourages the collection of snakes except for legitimate scientific reasons. Wild snakes often do not adjust well to captivity and eventually die. Under no circumstance should a captive snake ever be released into the wild as they can introduce disease to wild populations. This includes any snakes collected. Also, local, state, and federal laws may prohibit the collection of snakes in your area. Please abide by all laws when conducting a count.
As long as you can but for at least 15 minutes in each location where you might find snakes. We hope to calculate effort per snake counted so please record your time to the nearest 15 minutes. The longer you can spend counting snakes, the better chance you have of finding more snakes. Spend your time walking slowly through habitat or rolling logs to increase your chance for success. Check out the CSC’s flyer “How to Find Snakes” for help.
There are two ways you can count snakes: walking or hiking through habitat (Pedestrian Count) and from a vehicle (Road Count). The way you record your data for each type of count is different. You can find protocols for each type of Snake Count in the Snake Count Tool Kit.
Pedestrian Count: This is a count made in one area, such as a local park or open space. In this case, report the total number of species and how each was found. For example, 2 Eastern Worm Snakes under rocks (Under Natural Cover (UNC)), 3 Red Cornsnakes under tin (Under Artificial Cover (UAC)), and 1 Eastern Ratsnake on the crawl (OTC).
Road Count: This is a count made from a vehicle. Please record your route and the total distance travelled. You will need to record Alive on Road (AOR) and Dead on Road (DOR) separately and use the Road Count datasheet to record your data.
The Center for Snake Conservation (CSC) has adopted the Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America as published by the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). The CSC uses a shorthand 9-letter code for each species based on the scientific names in the SSAR publication. 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. Please avoid using additional common names or scientific names not adopted by the SSAR or the CSC.
Please tally all snakes you find and submit only one datasheet for the entire group. Record the total number of observers on the datasheet so we can accurately calculate effort at the end of the count.
Yes if the location where you are counting snakes allows this sort of activity. It is important to know this before heading out to count snakes. Check the local regulations regarding looking for snakes under cover objects. It is also very important to put the cover object you flip back as you originally found it. This will helps restore the conditions under the object and also aesthetically restores the visual impact of flipped cover objects.
Yes but please record the time of night that you conducted your count on the datasheet. Also, if conducting a Road Count at night, please use extreme caution in high traffic areas.
Absolutely, but you need to submit a new datasheet for every new location or road route even if you conduct the counts on the same day. This will allow us to better track where snakes occur and when they occur (time of day).
There are four ways you can submit your data.
1) You can submit it via Project Noah (www.projectnoah.org)
2) You can submit it online using the form on the Snake Count website.
3) You can scan and email your datasheet to email@example.com
4) You can mail your datasheets to the Center for Snake Conservation, 1581 Ridgeview Drive, Louisville, CO 80027.
June 30, 2013
Do your best to figure it out but we understand that there are some snakes that may be very difficult to identify correctly. Take a look at your state or province checklist on the Snake Count web site to help narrow down the possibilities. Use a field guide to see if you can find the snake you saw. Email a picture to the Snake Count to confirm your identification. If you are still unable to identifiy a species, no problem. You do not have to report every species you see. Please mark on your datasheet that you were unable to identify all the snakes you saw and how many snakes were left unidentified.
After the count begins, we will have a corrections form available on our website. This form will ask you the email address you used for your report as well as some other basic information. It will allow us to find and delete the report that contains the mistake. You will then need to re-enter your complete datasheet on the Snake Count website or mail it to us.