Tue, 8 Sep 2015

Volunteers Needed for Rattlesnake Research Project


*Update* The Club had a very good response to its call for volunteers and have secured enough helpers for this fall. Interested individuals can still apply, as there may be opportunities to help in the spring. Thanks!

The North Okanagan Naturalist’s club is looking for volunteers to help them with monitoring Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes as part of a PCAF project taking place in the Campbell Brown Ecological Reserve.

The Northern Pacific Rattlesnake is a subspecies of the Western Rattlesnake, which is designated as threatened in BC. In Canada, its range is limited to the Thompson and Okanagan Valleys and its habitat is increasingly threatened by development. The Campbell Brown Ecological Reserve was set aside partly because it had a long-recognized active rattlesnake den, and a second den has since been discovered. The project will focus on marking the snakes by inserting PIT tags under the snake’s skin which can be read without recapturing the snakes, and recording their biostatics in order facilitate long term research on the growth and conditions of snake and den populations, as well as providing a means of tracking the snakes’ use of the habitat.

Starting September 15th, the Campbell Brown Ecological Reserve Western Rattlesnake Project will require two people to start monitoring for snakes returning to dens on most warm days. Experienced assistants (i.e. people who have some experience in helping to handle snakes) are preferred for this task. The project also needs recorders to help record snake ID and measurements, and assistants and “go fors” to watch for snake activity. Volunteers will always work with another person. All jobs require the ability to walk up to dens (steady up hill on a good path) and have sturdy boots/gum boots. To confirm volunteer requirements or get further information, please contact Linda asap at ardtarig@gmail.com.