Happy Earth Day! On this special celebration of our planet, it is so important to reflect on how our individual actions can impact global wildlife populations and their ecosystems. Snakes, like all other wildlife species, depend on clean water to drink, pure air to breath and pristine habitats to thrive. As snakes are critically important animals for our world, let’s work together to make our Earth better for them and for us!
Check out these 10 ways to Save The Snakes on Earth Day:
1. Give Snakes a Brake & Slow Down While Driving
Around the world, increased vehicular traffic on roads is causing issues for wildlife. In the USA alone, 250 million cars and trucks traveling on roads kill unknown millions of animals a year. In 2010, the number of cars on the world’s roads surpassed one billion. This sheer number of vehicles on roads impact the structure of ecosystems, the dynamics of ecosystem function, and has direct effects on ecosystem components, including their species composition. As a result, snake populations are increasingly threatened by vehicular traffic. While driving, be sure to give snakes a brake, reduce your speed and pay attention for wildlife on and near roads.
2. Restore & Protect Snake Habitat
Globally, snake habitat is threatened. Habitat loss is the main threat to 85% of all wildlife species described in the IUCN’s Red List. To protect snake populations, it is critical that we secure the ecosystems that they depend on. Habitat protection ensures that wildlife populations and ecosystems are safe from habitat loss.
Simultaneously, it is critical to restore habitat for wildlife whenever possible. You can help reduce habitat loss by working with your community to plant native trees, restore wetlands and clean up your local nature areas.
3. Use Less Herbicides & Pesticides
Herbicides and pesticides can harm wildlife on several levels and their use should be limited. Many herbicides and pesticides take a long time to degrade from an ecosystem. They can also build up in the soils and throughout the food chain. Predators such as snakes and birds of prey can be seriously harmed if they eat poisoned animals. For alternatives to pesticides, visit http://www.beyondpesticides.org.
4. Consume Less & Recycle More
Trash isn’t just ugly, it’s dangerous. Snakes, birds and other animals can trap their bodies in plastic. Trash pollutes everyone’s natural resources. So, a great way to minimize our effect on the environment is to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. Consuming less is an incredibly efficient way to protect the planet.
5. Make Your Home & Yard Wildlife Friendly & Snake Safe
See a snake near or in your home? Don’t panic! Snakes make great neighbors! Most snakes are harmless and all snakes deserve our respect. However, for some that may fear snakes, finding a snake near your home can be an extremely unwanted experience. To keep your home snake safe, be sure to keep paths clear, cut grass short and remove debris that accumulates near your home. Examine your home, see a place a snake could get into? Close up cracks and other openings. If you find a snake, do not try and pick it up or kill it. Snakes are not aggressive, so watch it from a safe distance. If outside, after some time the snake will move off on its own. If inside and you do not feel comfortable removing it yourself safely, call your local snake rescuer for assistance.
6. Never Purchase Products Made from Threatened or Endangered Species
Traveling can be exciting and fun, and everyone wants a souvenir. But sometimes the souvenirs are made from species facing extinction. Avoid supporting the illegal wildlife trade by purchasing items made from tortoise-shell, ivory, coral. Be careful of other products made from wildlife. This includes skins, furs, bones, teeth, claws and scales. Wildlife need their body parts more than you do.
7. Visit a National Wildlife Refuge, Park or Other Open Space
These protected areas provide habitat to many native wildlife species, including snakes! Get involved by volunteering at your local nature center, wildlife refuge or zoo. Go wildlife or bird watching in nearby parks. The more time we spend in nature, the more driven we will be to protect it.
8. Learn About the Snake Species in Your Area
A great way to save snakes is to learn about how interesting and important they are. Snakes play an integral role in the ecosystem, control rodent populations and are actually really cool. Familiarize yourself with your local snake species. By doing so, you will be able to teach your friends and family about the wonderful snakes that live near you.
9. Share Your Excitement for Snakes & Wildlife
Motivate other people to read up on snake conservation issues, respect wildlife, and be serious about the protection of wildlife species and their habitat.
10. Support Snake Conservation Efforts
Save The Snakes depends on the compassion and dedication of individuals to support our snake conservation efforts around the world. Check out some of these ways you can get involved with our organization and support our work to save the snakes.
If you can afford to be generous to donate, please do. By making a donation to Save The Snakes, you’ll join us in our commitment to save snakes and empower communities to reduce human-snake conflict. Your gift will be put to immediate use to bolster many urgent conservation and education initiatives.