Saturday, May 28, 2016

It is that time of year. GIVE 'EM A BRAKE!

Yes, it is that time when many of us like to get out and take a trip away from the hustle and bustle. This involves traveling on roads where wildlife will be encountered frequently. With reptiles this time of year brings lots of movement due to them just emerging from hibernation searching for food, a mate, or a suitable nesting site. Reptiles also enjoy sunbathing on the warm cement unaware of the dangers that presents. Box turtles are especially vulnerable due to their slow pace. Their time out on the road is longer so that means more of a chance they will be hit.

It is not too hard to avoid clipping these guys if you are aware. Most people are not mean-spirited and do not mean to hit them. They are just not paying attention. It is not on their radar that a turtle may be in the middle of the road around that next turn.

Anyone reading this blog is already probably traveling with a keen eye on the lookout for critters in the road but it is important to spread the word. As mentioned before, most people just don't think about it but when they hear stories of rescues off the road or see a PSA about looking out for wildlife crossing roadways it sinks in and hopefully it may have created another person now paying attention and avoiding the animals or even helping them cross safely to the other side.

Just letting people know you are a turtle (or any reptile) fan raises awareness too. I don't know how many friends who never paid any attention to them until they found out I was a chelonian enthusiast. I am constantly hearing how they thought of me and pulled over to help a turtle to safety. Does a soul good. 

And, as always, please be careful if you stop to move an animal. Do not risk your life if you cannot pull off the road safely or if traffic is too dangerous. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

March 15th, General Meeting. Ed Bielik will speak on "New World Rat Snakes"

Going to try this again! Since we had to cancel the meeting due to weather last February Ed has been kind enough to reschedule for the May meeting. See below for details and see you there!

Ed will be giving an informative talk on these fascinating snakes and their natural history and habits. New World rat snakes include the well known rat and corn snakes indigenous to the United States along with the western fox snake pictured below. Ed is encouraging anyone who keeps these snakes to bring one to the meeting this Sunday. It is always fun to see live snakes!

For anyone interested in reading how Old World rat snakes dispersed to the New World here is a link to an interesting article on the subject.