The Save The Snakes Team was fortunate to attend the 2018 Zoo & Aquariums Committing to Conservation (ZACC) Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The mission of the ZACC Conference is to encourage and promote increased involvement of zoos and aquariums in support of field conservation – locally, nationally and internationally. The conference brings together field researchers and zoo colleagues every two years enabling them to network, forge relationships and work together to mutually benefit and protect wildlife species and wild places. Save The Snakes had an informational table at the event and our team was able to spread awareness about our snake conservation efforts to the conference attendees. Save The Snakes Co-Founder and Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society Founder Murthy Kantimahanti presented to 300 conservationists about his conservation efforts in the Eastern Ghats of India. The title of his presentation: “Engaging Local Indian Communities in Monitoring Camera Traps and Mitigating Threats to Snakes and Other Local Wildlife”.
Our work to protect threatened snake populations and mitigate human-snake conflict was recognized, as Save The Snakes was awarded the 2018 ZACC Field Grant! The funds will be used to support our long-term snake education and awareness initiative in the Eastern Ghats of India. As the Eastern Ghats is an incredibly vast landscape, the cost of travel greatly limits the reach of our conservation efforts. A minimum of $50 each is required to cover expenses for two project personnel to visit a project site in India. Over the period of one year, these funds will be used to alleviate the burden of direct travel costs, which will enable our team to visit villages, meet with community leaders and stakeholders, conduct snake awareness and education programs and collect data on king cobras and other snake species distribution using questionnaire based surveys and field tracking methods. Thanks to the support of ZACC, our team will be able to successfully implement community-based conservation strategies that will mitigate human-snake conflict and protect king cobra populations in the Eastern Ghats of India. Our team members in India and in the USA are incredibly honored and grateful!
The ZACC Conference has been a truly inspirational experience for the Save The Snakes Team. Not only have we brought awareness to our snake conservation efforts, but we have learned so much from the dedicated conservationists who have attended the event. Our team has made new friends, forged new partnerships and we left the conference even more impassioned and dedicated to continue and expand our snake conservation efforts.