Join Save The Snakes at the international conference “Snakebite : From Science to Society“, which will be held on June 21st & 22nd, 2018 in the Netherlands. The goal of this conference is to draw attention to a devastating, neglected tropical disease and to ignite international action on snakebite prevention and treatment. The conference will bring together science, government, industry and societal & humanitarian aid organisations, in order to take the first steps in developing solutions for the issues concerning snakebites in the tropics.
At the conference, Save The Snakes Executive Director Michael Starkey will give a presentation about our organization’s efforts to tackle this global snakebite crisis. The title of the presentation is “Save The Snakes – Bridging the Gap Between Snake Conservation and Human-Snake Conflict Mitigation”.
Please read Michael Starkey’s abstract below:
Despite their unwarranted reputation, snakes are critically important animals for our world. Snakes maintain balance in the food web and provide humans an ecological service by controlling pest populations. Yet, global snake populations are at risk from habitat destruction, disease, over-harvesting, invasive species, climate change and persecution by humans. Currently the conservation needs of most snake species are underfunded, remain poorly understood by researchers and garner little attention from society. However, as human populations rapidly grow and spread into areas that wildlife depend on, conflict with snakes is becoming increasingly common. Each year, over 2.5 million people around the world suffer a serious snakebite envenomation. In response to this snakebite crisis, the World Health Organization classified snakebite as a neglected tropical disease as few efforts exist to reduce snakebite in developing countries. Currently there is a gap between the conservation needs of snake species and the human-snake conflict solutions that exist in rural, impoverished communities. These communities are the most impacted by snakebite because they lack access to appropriate medical care. For many, the solution to this snakebite crisis is to kill snakes, oftentimes indiscriminately. This is not a sustainable solution as it puts human lives under greater risk of getting bitten leading to indecisive actions during a snake encounter. Left unaddressed, the indiscriminate killing of snakes will bring already threatened snake species ever closer to extinction while human lives continue to be lost from snakebite.
To increase worldwide snake conservation efforts, Save The Snakes was founded in 2017 to protect threatened snake populations and reduce direct conflicts between humans and snakes by implementing mitigation strategies which will lead to peaceful coexistence. Save The Snakes relies on the expertise and dedication of our Conservation Partners to protect snake populations and mitigate human-snake conflict. We support their snake conservation efforts and highlight their incredibly important work on a global platform. To ensure the long-term impacts of our snake conservation efforts, our Conservation Partners address the challenge of human livelihoods and work to understand the delicate balance between humans and snakes. Their programs require close attention to the human context and together we actively explore ways to benefit the communities they work with in order to protect snake populations and their ecosystems. By empowering and supporting snake conservationists to mitigate human-snake conflict, this unique, community-based approach to snake conservation can reduce snakebite in the communities that need it the most.
For more information about how to attend the Snakebite Conference, please visit their website for details.