Through the Save The Snakes Support Grant Program, Save The Snakes supported Ricardo Rodríguez Medina in 2019 to increase awareness about snakes in the Sonoran Desert in Mexico. Ricardo has been working as a veterinarian, with six years of experience in snake handling, more than 7 courses taught, and 12 local brigades formed for conservation issues around Mexico
Safe-handling and relocation course of Sonoran Desert snakes for the Comcáac community
Project Summary and Aims and Objectives:
This project aims to provide information about the biological importance and the role of snakes in the Sonoran Desert ecosystem. This includes a theoretical/practical course addressed specifically to the Comcáac community (indigenous), in which the attendants will learn about the importance of snakes, their role in the ecosystem, the species distributed in the area, the human-wildlife conflict and how to minimize it, safe handling techniques for relocating them and first aid attention in case of snakebites.
Due to the rise in the cases of human-snake encounters, Ricardo and his team will work in coordination with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) to train local brigades to spread the information and relocate organisms outside the communities, avoiding the death of the animals. The CONANP have established local groups in the communities of Bahía Kino and Punta Chueca, in the state of Sonora, providing them with knowledge about terrestrial and marine mammals. Thus, in order to improve capacity building, the present course will allow them to learn about another taxonomic group which is currently seen as a threat to the villagers.
Additionally, Ricardo and his team will provide the brigades not only with the knowledge about safe-handling but with the basic equipment to develop their activities, such as herpetological hooks and snake bags. They will also develop a pocket guide about the native snake species and their characteristics, written in their native language (Comcáac).
The goal of this project is to:
- Create two theoretical/practical training courses of 15 hours each one in the communities of Bahía Kino and Punta Chueca, in the state of Sonora;
- Train 30 individuals in safe-handling techniques for restrain and relocation of snakes in the communities of Bahía Kino and Punta Chueca;
- Distribute four herpetological hooks and four snake bags (two bags each one) for the brigades;
- Develop 30 pocket guides about native snakes from the Sonoran Desert in Comcáac language.
Support Snake Conservation
Ricardo’s project is a recipient of the 2019 Save The Snakes Support Grant Program. Save The Snakes Support Grants are made possible because of the generosity of compassionate people and organizations who are inspired and dedicated to protect threatened snake populations and mitigate human-snake conflict around the world. Please donate today to help us continue to fund projects like Ricardo’s snake conservation project in Mexico. Thank you for your support.