by Greg Mayer
I lifted Vivian’s hide box to take the photo, and she was mildly perturbed, so she defensively hid her head in her coils.
The Department of Defense Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation has sent out a great set of links for World Snake Day, put together by my friend and colleague Rob Lovich. There’s loads of stuff in these links– look around. I’ve brought to the top of the list a shutterfly album of a great diversity of snakes. If you don’t have time for more, open up that album click on the slideshow, and enjoy! (It works best if you have dual monitors, one to work one, and one for snake pix.)
Here’s the album: Shutterfly Snake Pictures (over 800 pictures). From DoD Parc:
Tomorrow [i.e. today] (July 16th) is World Snake Day! In celebration of this event and the important ecological value snakes play in the ecosystems of military lands, we would like to highlight some snake-focused DoD Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (DoD PARC) products below.
We hope you enjoy learning about snakes through the various DoD PARC products below.
Snake Pictures, ID cards and Podcast:
- Venomous Snake ID Cards
- Shutterfly Snake Pictures (over 800 pictures)
- Podcast Episode 2: Venomous Snakes on DoD Lands (over 240 views to date)
- Snakes and Safety on Continental U.S. Department of Defense Installations
- Venomous Snake Safety and Removal Techniques
- Navy Venomous Snake Poster
- Marine Corps Venomous Snake Poster
- Venomous Snakes on U.S. Air Force Installations Poster
- Venomous Snakes on DoD Installations Poster
- Tips on How to Keep Snakes Away from Military Housing and Cantonment Areas Fact Sheet
- Timber Rattlesnake
- Eastern Massasauga
- Prairie Rattlesnake
- Cottonmouth Fact Sheet
- Common Gartersnake
- Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
- North American Racer
- Northern Rubber Boa
- Eastern Ratsnake
- Common Kingsnake
- Final Report, Legacy project 17-838: DoD Snake Fungal Disease Survey: Natural Resources Manager Training and Data Collection
- Venomous Reptile Species Confirmed or Potentially Present on DoD Properties (2017)
- Picture Guide to the Dangerous Snakes of Niger, Africa
- Guide to Venomous Snakes on Military Installations in Louisiana
- Guide to Venomous Snakes on Military Installations in Belize
- Guide to Venomous Snakes on Military Installations in Guatemala
- Guide to Venomous Snakes on Military Installations in El Salvador
DOD PARC Logo
The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) was chosen on our logo to reflect the long-standing relationship DoD and the Military Services have with protecting both our nation and its resources, including snakes. Ultimately, the use of this species is meant to represent how DoD protects the natural resources with which it has been entrusted, and how those resources in turn provide for and protect the military’s ability to prepare for its war-fighting and peace-keeping duties.
If you’re wondering why the military has a unit devoted to amphibians and reptiles, the military must follow environmental and conservation laws (unless specifically exempted); there are practical issues for the military involving venomous reptiles; and recall that Darwin traveled around the world largely by courtesy of the Royal Navy. The U.S. Navy published, with the assistance of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, the classic Poisonous Snakes of the World:
If you want to learn more about snakes, I recommend, as I have before, Harry Greene‘s Snakes: the Evolution of Mystery in Nature as a good, well-illustrated, introduction to their natural history and diversity
Greene, H.W. 1997. Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Minton, S.A., H.G. Dowling & F.E. Russell. 1965. Poisonous Snakes of the World: A Manual for Use by U.S. Amphibious Forces. NAVMED P-5099. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C.