Wildlife Commission Features Amphibians and Reptiles at Natural Sciences Museum this Saturday March 14th

By / Fishing / Tuesday, 10 March 2015 04:00

It’s going to be a hopping, slithering, slinking kind of day on March 14 at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh when the 21st annual Reptile and Amphibian Day kicks off at 9 a.m. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC), will staff an exhibit on the third floor of the museum that features live reptiles and amphibians — collectively known as “herps.”
Visitors will get a close-up view of some common herps in North Carolina, such as Eastern kingsnakes, corn snakes, marbled salamanders, painted turtles, green anoles and southern leopard frogs, just to name a few.  For intrepid visitors who can muster the courage, live snakes will be available for touching.   The Commission and NCPARC have supported the event over the years to dispel myths and misconceptions about reptiles and amphibians in general and snakes in particular. For instance, snakes are not slimy, and all snakes are “good” snakes, even the venomous ones.
“Snakes use one or more of a variety of methods to subdue and kill their prey, including grasping and swallowing quickly, constriction and delivering venom,” said Jeff Hall, the NCPARC biologist and a herpetologist with the Commission who will be staffing the event on Saturday. “Just because the third method involving venom can be potentially dangerous to humans does not mean these snakes are bad. Snakes are not out to ‘get’ people. On the contrary, snakes are excellent hunters of mice and other rodents which can be health hazards for humans.”
Staff will have the popular “Spot the Copperhead” game that allows people to test their snake-identification skills, as well as herp-related give-away items, such as buttons, tattoos and stickers. Visitors can also learn about some of the projects Commission staff is working on to conserve reptile and amphibians in North Carolina. Bog turtles, green salamanders and sea turtles are just a few animals benefiting from conservation work conducted by Commission biologists and funded through N.C. State Income tax donations given to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. Reptile and Amphibian Day is hosted annually by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, which is located at 11 West Jones Street. The free event features more than 45 exhibitors and presenters. For more information about the event, visit the museum’s website. For more information on nongame conservation in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/conserving

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