World Snake Day

Snakes – whether you love them or hate them, fear them or just stay away from them, it’s World Snake Day on the 16th July.

This is a great chance to take a closer look at our slithery friends and find out more about them, and help them out.

Like much wildlife, snakes have their own threats and challenges to face and tackle as much as any other animal.

4 ways to discover more about these fascinating animals:

Get involved in surveys

The National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme (NARRS for short) has a website full of helpful information for people who want to get surveying for snakes and indeed any reptile.

It brings existing surveys for our rarer species together with surveys, undertaken by volunteers, to collect data on more widespread amphibians and reptiles. There’s an Amphibian Identification Guide and Reptile Identification Guide and Alien Amphibians and Reptile Identification Guide Species to the UK.  You can volunteer, too with practical tasks, surveys and events.  The charity works closely with ARC UK who have volunteer groups all over the UK.

Have a reptile experience day

There are a number of reptile experience days you can do in the UK.  Some of these you book directly with the provider – quite a few zoos and wildlife parks run them - or you can go through companies such as Buy A Gift and treat the reptile lover in your life to an experience.  As well as reptile encounter experiences there are also a couple of reptile keeper experiences.   The reptile keeper experience usually enables you to shadow the keeper and discover a lot about what’s involved in the care of his or her animals.

Check out websites about snakes.

Discover more about the snake world through exploring different websites about snakes!  Here are 5:

  1. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation is a UK registered charity which has tons of information about British snakes, including the Grass snake, the Adder and smooth snake.   Spent some time rustling through its pages.   There are volunteering opportunities and you could also become a member and donate.  They also want to hear about your snake sightings.  Slither away to the ARC Trust
  2. The British Herpetological Society is working for the conservation of British native herpetofauna, and it’s a very prestigious society with volunteers.
  3. Please also visit Add and Adder and if you see an adder, let them know.  They are after recollections and sightings of adders, past and present, so if you remember seeing one or you’ve just come back from a walk and seen one, let the know.
  4. Based in New Mexico, Advocates for Snake Conservation says snakes are threatened by habitat loss, climate change and disease.  However, negative attitudes towards snakes could be their biggest barrier to conservation because it impedes efforts to address other threats.  They have a vision of a world where snakes are respected and appreciated, rather than feared and hated.
  5. There’s the Rattlesnake Preservation Trust which is based in Texas for anyone wants to find out more about rattlesnakes.  It’s aiming to change the way people think about rattlesnakes.

Do a Fear of Snakes course

Anxiety UK says the fear of snakes and spiders is a common one and the BBC has info on why that is. Anxiety UK has an MP3 Fear of Snakes which you can buy for £9.50

You can also do a Fear of Snakes course – a bit like a fear of flying course. Ophidiophobia is the fear or phobia of snakes. A number of zoos and wildlife parks run these sorts of events – Bristol is one of them. The idea is that you are helped to face your fears and try to overcome them.  They don’t promise you will, of course but a lot of people do find them helpful. You can get fear of spider experiences, too.  And it’s always worth checking to see what background and experience the provider has in terms of doing this sort of experience.