|Rough Green Snakes (Opheodrys aestivus)|
mostly eat insects and spiders.
Photo by Kevin Durso
Social media has become an important tool for conducting effective science education and outreach, and amphibians and reptiles, especially snakes, have much to gain from this kind of positive exposure. Many reptiles and amphibians occur in large numbers, are top predators, and provide important services to their ecosystems. However, these animals are often cryptic, and the general public seems to overlook their presence and great importance. As a result, we have decided to bring attention to a network of students, naturalists, and professionals that use social media to communicate information about amphibian and reptile natural history, science, and conservation.
Our inaugural event is inspired by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s (PARC) Year of the Snake. On December 9th we will be publishing blog posts about the diversity of ecosystem services provided by snakes. Snakes are generally vilified in the popular media. Our goal is to create new media that accurately portrays snakes’ importance in the hopes of decreasing the negative perception many people hold against them. Leading up to this day, we will be tweeting about snake ecosystem services using the hashtag #SnakesAtYourService. We encourage everyone to follow us on Twitter, visit our blogs on December 9th, and help spread the word about our outreach event, which we hope will be the first of many touching on different themes related to the importance of amphibians and reptiles.
December 9th 2013 Participating Blogs and Authors:
Ophidiophilia: Converting Ophidiophobes to Ophidiophiles, One Kid at a Time by Emily Taylor @snakeymama
The Traveling Taxonomist: Snakes of Madagascar: Cultural and Ecological Roles by Mark Scherz @MarkScherz
Social Snakes: Good Neighbors Make a Greater Impact: How Viper Behavior Increases Their Effect on Prey Populations by Melissa Amarello @SocialSnakes
Life is Short, but Snakes are Long by Andrew M. Durso is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.