In one week (9 December 2013) Social Snakes will join a group of bloggers to draw attention to ecosystem services provided by snakes.

Social media has become an important tool in conducting effective science education and outreach and snakes have much to gain from this. Many reptiles and amphibians occur in large numbers in the ecosystems they inhabit, are top predators, and provide important services. However, these animals are often cryptic, and the general public seems to overlook their presence and great importance. As a result, we have decided to bring attention to a network of students, naturalists, and professionals that use social media to communicate information about amphibian and reptile natural history, science, and conservation.

Our inaugural event is inspired by Partner in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation’s (PARC) Year of the Snake. On 9 December we will be publishing blog posts about the diversity of ecosystem services provided by snakes. Snakes are generally vilified in the popular media. Our goal is to create new media that accurately portrays snakes’ importance in the hopes of decreasing the negative perception many people hold against them. Leading up to this day, we will be tweeting about snake ecosystem services using the hashtag #SnakesatyourService. We encourage everyone to follow us on Twitter, visit our blogs on 9 December and help spread the word about our outreach event, we hope the first of many touching on different themes related to the importance of amphibians and reptiles.

9 December 2013 Participating Blogs and Authors:

Life is Short But Snakes are Long: Ecology of Snake Sheds by Andrew Durso (@am_durso)

Living Alongside Wildlife: Kingsnakes Keep Copperheads in Check by David Steen (@AlongsideWild)

Nature Afield: Pythons as Model Organisms by Heidi Smith (@HeidiKayDeidl)

Ophidiophilia: Converting Ophidiophobes to Ophidiophiles, One Kid at a Time by Emily Taylor (@snakeymama)

The Traveling Taxonomist: Snakes of Madagascar: Cultural and Ecological Roles by Mark Scherz (@MarkScherz)

Social Snakes: Good Neighbors Make a Greater Impact: How Viper Behavior Increases Their Effect on Prey Populations by Melissa Amarello (@SocialSnakes)

Strike, Rattle, and Roll: Snakes and the Ecology of Fear by Bree Putman (@breeput)

Australian Museum: When the Frogs Go, the Snakes Follow by Jodi Rowley (@jodirowley)

For more information contact David Steen, Ph.D. (davidasteen@gmail.com)