The Buzz Tale -- Winter Update
What's the Buzz?
Welcome to the Winter 2021 issue of The Buzz Tale—The Rattlesnake Conservancy’s official quarterly newsletter. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the protection of rattlesnakes, and their habitat, through research and education. In this newsletter you’ll find important updates on our organization, upcoming events, announcements, and recaps of some of our favorite moments from the last few months!
If you’d like to get involved with The Rattlesnake Conservancy and support the work that we’ve been doing be sure to check us out on social media and find us online at savethebuzztails.org where you can volunteer, make a donation, purchase an item from our shop, sign up for a training course, adopt a rattlesnake, become a sustaining member, or just drop us a message to let us know your thoughts!
Holiday Membership Drive: This year we started our first holiday membership drive calling on YOU to commit to a sustaining membership to help support our mission to advance the protection of rattlesnakes, and their habitat, through research and education. We are proud to announce that we reached our goal of gaining 50 new memberships by the end of the year!
Fox Weather News: This quarter we went live on national TV! Fox Weather Wild broadcasted to viewers across the United States as we talked about rattlesnake behavior in the Fall and Winter seasons. Cupcake, our eastern diamondback rattlesnake and Sweetcheeks, our canebrake rattlesnake were so proud of their debut! Megan and Tiffany did great, too.
Brazil update: 2021 Venomous Reptile Research Grant Recipient Dr. Gonzalez and his research team went into the field to begin setting up their research site and planning out their project near Fortaleza! The project is based in the Caatinga biome of Brazil, which is a xeric shrubland and thorn forest ecosystem and studies the Northeastern Rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus cascavella) to better understand natural history of the species, range information, and help fill data gaps. We are excited to be a part of funding this needed research!
2022 Grant Cycle Recipient: We are proud to announce Saunders Drukker as our 2022 grant recipient! The aim of his project is to answer new questions about how wildland fire and the changing climate are affecting Montane Rattlesnakes, as well as to follow up on historical research. Fire, and the way climate change is affecting natural fire regimes, are areas of greatest concern regarding these highly specialized taxa. By using methods such as isotopic analysis, photo analysis, body condition, and landscape level analyses, Drukker hopes to develop a comprehensive view of how current fire trends affect the natural history of Montane Rattlesnakes. Stay tuned for more updates!
Handling Training Updates
Congratulations to all the recent Introductory, Level 1, and Level 2 graduates of our Venomous Handling Certification Training! These courses set the industry standard for safety, husbandry, and protocol for working with venomous reptiles. Our graduates go into the workforce and their communities with a mindset that prepares them to handle potentially dangerous situations confidently and safely. This quarter we hosted three Introduction to Venomous Handing courses, six Level 1 handing courses, and one Level 2 handling course.
We are looking forward to expanding our courses to new areas next quarter and for the following upcoming classes:
Feb 25 & 26: Level 1 @ Port Royal Maritime Center in Okatie, SC
Apr 13 & 14: Level 1 @ Fort Pickens in Gulf Breeze, FL
Each quarter we will be showcasing a different education program. This quarter, we will be focusing on one of our new education programs: Reptile Encounter Program. The encounter is an hour long family friendly event held most Saturdays at the Tree Hill Nature Center. Participants will learn how to identify key reptiles found in Florida, why reptiles are
important, and discuss some major conservation issues surrounding them. As a group, we will discuss herpetological-related terms like invasive, introduced, ectothermic, scutes, scales, and more. There will be opportunities to get questions answered and interact with our reptile ambassador animals under the supervision of an educator at the end of the program. Sign up today on our website to reserve your spot!
This quarter we welcomed Megan Grams to our team as the new Education and Conservation Programs coordinator! Megan received her B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from Clemson University and came to us from South Carolina where she is certified as a Lowcountry Master Naturalist. Megan has graduated from our Level 1 and Level 2 Venomous Handling Training Courses, is an Outdoor Educator through Project Learning Tree, and is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
We feel lucky to welcome Megan to the team and can't wait to see what she does with our education and conservation programs!
Rattlesnakes in the News
Unfortunately, much of the press rattlesnakes receive is negative. However, this quarter we were able to find some interesting examples of rattlesnakes showcased in a different light. Check out the articles below to learn more.
Baby Timber Rattlesnakes Found in Arizona, As Far As 2,500 Miles Away From Home Dec 14, 2021 by Catherine Ferris
Can You Spot the Rattlesnake in Arizona Man's Yard? Dec 5, 2021 by Pete Thomas
Rattlesnake Selfie? Teen leaves water bowl for thirsty snakes, gets funny 'thank you' Nov 26, 2021 by Mark Price
Threatened rattlesnakes' inbreeding makes species more resistant to bad mutations Oct 4, 2021 by Emily Caldwell
Earth Notes: Rainwater-Harvesting Rattlesnakes Sept 29, 2021 by Melissa Sevigny
Rattlesnake Defense Fund
The Rattlesnake Defense Fund was established to be used for litigation in defense of rattlesnakes. Donations received for the Rattlesnake Defense Fund are placed in a restricted funds account, which are used exclusively for litigation fees, attorneys fees, and lobbying legislatures to establish bag limits, ban gassing, and stop rattlesnake roundups. Our team is committed to full transparency of how funds are being used and what funds have been raised.
Rattlesnakes can't speak for themselves, so we are giving them a voice! To donate directly to the Rattlesnake Defense Fund, click here.
Website and Social Media
Field Herping Friday-- This quarter we started a new social media series called Field Herping Friday. FHF is a day where we can highlight some remarkable wild rattlesnakes that were found in their natural habitat like this beautiful photo of a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) found & photographed in California by Chad M. Lane! ! Tune in to our instagram and facebook page every Friday for updates.
TikTok--Have you followed us on TikTok?! This quarter we've hit over 1,000 followers! Follow us @savethebuzztails for weekly interactive educational content and fun snake videos.
This quarter, our staff and volunteers have been able to attend a wide variety of outreach events to help educate the public about venomous snakes and allow them to experience these animals in a safe, professional way. We travelled throughout northern and central Florida to bring people closer to our mission. Do you know of a 2022 wildlife festival or event in your area that we should attend? Contact our Education Coordinator at email@example.com. See some of this quarter's events below:
-Tree Hill Nature Center's Fall Festival in Jacksonville, FL
-Nocatee Farmers Market in Ponte Vedra, FL
- Right Whale Festival hosted by Wild Amelia in Fernandina Beach, FL
- Red, White, and Blues Farms Fall Festival in Williston, FL
-Croctober Fest hosted by the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, FL
Be on the lookout for more information on these awesome events coming up in 2022!
- Get Buzzed For Buzztails 2022
- Venomous Symposium 2022