Sciensational Sssnakes!!

Conservation Through Education

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A busy spring!

It certainly has been busy; hopefully now that our summer staff are getting started I will have more time to post more regular updates! Much has happened since my last post- I'll try to catch everyone up. First of all, a huge thank you to the students of London's Catholic Central High School Environmental Leadership Program! These enthusiastic volunteers were hard at work within an hour of arriving, and accomplished quite a bit during their time here. Thanks for all your efforts, ELPers, and we hope to see you again in the future!

After the ELP class left, I headed out on the road for Indiana. Crystal and Melanie accompanied me in the search for various species of reptiles and amphibians. The purpose of the trip was to find some species which are not bred in captivity, and are rare up here, but common farther south where the climate is less harsh. Our intent was to collect a few individuals of these species and bring them back to expand our live collection. This is obviously a little bit controversial, but the fact is that there is currently no other way to acquire live specimens of things like Fowler's Toads. It is certainly not our preference, but we do feel it is justifed in some circumstances. We were partly successful in our quest, and did bring home some new animals. We also set a new record time, for me, of over 3.5 hours to get through the border with the various inspections. There are lots of regulations to follow carefully for importing animals (not to mention legally collecting them), so please don't do it unless you learn them and follow them!

A few days after getting back, I left again to do some school programs on the Six Nations Reserve along the Grand River. Lots of kids crammed into two days! Major thanks to Crystal and her sister, Amanda, for helping me out there! It was really great to talk to the kids there, since they do have some habitat for rare reptiles on the reserve, and have some opportunities to really help these species out.

And then the Pelee trip- once again a great time had by all! Good weather, lots of snakes (300+), and some good times around the camp fire. A little less volunteer work than usual as the Wilds of Pelee is in transition right now and not actively undertaking any projects for us to help with. We continued the work of some previous projects: removing invasive plants, creating nesting sites for snakes, cleaning out bird nesting boxes, etc. but nothing too strenuous.

We've got some new volunteers which is always great. I'll try to post some volunteer profiles in the future!

And speaking of volunteers, it looks like the spring volunteer weekend is going to be June 17/18 this year. More about that in the next post...

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Hathaway at 8:32 AM | Comments (2)  

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