Category: Reptiles

Silence of the Rattlesnake Researchers: Snakes, Culture and Conservation

Snakes should fear us more than we fear them. In Vermont, timber rattlesnake research unexpectedly exposes humanity’s tangled relationship with snakes. Can education shape a new future?

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Snake Fungal Disease: The White-Nose Syndrome for Reptiles?

Researchers in Vermont were tracking the movements of timber rattlesnakes for conservation planning, but they also made an unexpected discovery: snake fungal disease. Could these lesions be deadly to snakes ? Could it affect snake populations the way white-nose syndrome affects bats?

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Snakes on a Cliff: Rattler Research in Vermont

There could be a rattlesnake anywhere: Join researchers as they scamper up rocky slopes while tracking snakes in Vermont, all to gain a better understanding of the timber rattler’s movements, habits and health. Just watch where you put your hands.

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Boucher’s Birding Blog: Mamba Meets Bushbaby

Sometimes when you go birding, you can’t help but see other animals – elephants, army ants, beautiful butterflies.

Occasionally, if you get out early (as birders always do), you can get to a park before the crowds and you might see something really special (and, in this case, gruesome).

In January, we traveled to Ghana for some superb birding. Our visit included the famous canopy walkway at the Kakum National Park near the Ivory Coast. The seven bridges strung high up in the trees usually teem with visitors who have no appreciation of the amazing birdlife.

They might notice the monkeys, but for most, the canopy walkway is just a low-tech amusement ride. They shriek as they bounce from one platform to the next on the narrow, swaying  wooden planks.

We arrived very early, our guide having arranged for the park to admit us before the regular opening hour.  We were the first visitors on the path that climbs to the walkway.

It was barely light as we tramped up the steep hill, trying not to trip over hidden roots and rocks. As we reached a turn, we heard a ruckus near the trail – about head height — and we all peered into the tangle of vines and branches.  We had the surprise of our lives.

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This Week on Cool Green Science: Change & The Eastern U.S. Forest

Too many deer. Logging one tree to save another. Beavers versus old growth. Welcome to forest conservation in the Anthropocene. Beginning Monday, July 21, join us for a provocative 5-part series exploring the full complexity facing forest conservation in the eastern United States.

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Osprey Cam: Watch Our Wild Neighbors
Watch the ospreys live 24/7 as they nest and raise their young -- and learn more about these fascinating birds from our scientist.

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noun 1. Blog where Nature Conservancy scientists, science writers and external experts discuss and debate how conservation can meet the challenges of a 9 billion + planet.

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Cool Green Science is managed by Matt Miller, the Conservancy's deputy director for science communications, and edited by Bob Lalasz, its director of science communications. Email us your feedback.

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Investing in Seagrass
Marine scientists and fishers alike know that grass beds are valuable as nursery habitat. A new Conservancy-funded study puts a number to it.

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How can California conservationists accurately count thousands of cranes? Enter a new tool in bird monitoring: the drone.

Creating a Climate-Smart Agriculture
Can farmers globally both adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change? A new paper answers with a definitive yes. But it won't be easy.

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