Snakes have a largely undeserved reputation in folklore and modern media as evil, heartless creatures. Fear and misunderstanding result in merciless persecution and impede snake conservation.
During more than a decade working on a variety of reptile conservation projects, Melissa Amarello and Jeff Smith often encountered negative attitudes about snakes and their work. They realized that no amount of data on how to conserve snakes mattered without public support and while the problem of negative attitudes was widely known, there was no organization or movement working to address it. In the spring of 2014 they co-founded Advocates for Snake Preservation (ASP) to change how people view and treat snakes.
Our Vision is a world where snakes are respected and appreciated instead of feared and hated.
Our Mission is to promote compassionate conservation and coexistence with snakes through science, education, and advocacy.
We show people what snakes are really like: beautiful, sometimes social creatures with rich family lives about which we have much to learn. Snakes are more like us than you may have guessed.
Peaceful coexistence with snakes requires that we critically examine and modify our own behavior first in conflict situations.
As Compassionate Conservationists we prioritize non-invasive research and management strategies and do not support lethal methods.
We believe that individuals matter, beyond their value as members of a population or species and regardless of their status or usefulness to humans.
Because animal agriculture is one of the largest threats to wildlife and contributor to climate change, we endorse Animal Place’s Food for Thought program and have an Earth-friendly menu policy.
Wins for Snakes
We killed the snake-shooting bill, which would have created an exception to Arizona’s ban on shooting within city limits when snakes or other nuisance wildlife were involved.
Our campaign to Stop Snake Slaughter at Rattlesnake Roundups has been covered in more than 50 regional and international outlets and videos viewed more than 30 million times.
We received the Jarchow Conservation Award for commitment and creativity in studying snake behaviors and tireless efforts to use scientific knowledge to advocate for snake conservation through outreach and social activism.
More than 25,000 people have learned about snake behavior and how to live with them through our local presentations and events.
Our Board of Directors
Advocates for Snake Preservation is a volunteer-powered organization with a board that works closely with the Executive Director. We meet (remotely) at least six times per year to discuss all matters pertaining to the operations and programs of ASP. Meetings usually last 60-90 minutes. In addition to meeting attendance, you’ll be tasked with projects in between meetings related to your interests and expertise. We’re looking to expand our programs, especially Living With Snakes, and need an active and engaged board to move forward.
When you consider joining our (or any) board, you need to be passionate enough about the organization that you will support it financially and talk about it with your friends and colleagues. Board leadership means participating as policy-maker, volunteer, ambassador, and for this board, #SnakeHero.
Our nonprofit needs thoughtful guardians and critical friends — people who will look out for the best interest of snakes and the organization. We seek board members who are able to ask challenging questions and make hard decisions. It is important that our board members understand the responsibilities of governance and have the passion and commitment to engage.
What We Expect of Board Members
- Passion and support for ASP’s mission, work, and values
- Participation in most meetings and events
- Annual financial gift that is meaningful to you
What Board Members Can Expect of Us
- Engaging board meetings to keep you informed
- Tools to help you be the best ambassador for ASP
- Responsiveness to questions and concerns
Our Future Plans Include
- Publishing our research paper on rattlesnake social behavior
- Sharing more videos of cool, clandestine snake behavior
- Holding online, interactive workshops on Living With Snakes
The Ideal Candidate
Isn’t necessarily a snake expert, but someone with expertise in one or more of the following areas: finance, fundraising, legal, psychology, or nonprofit management. It’d be great if you were able to attend at least one board meeting each year in person (near southwest New Mexico)!
We look forward to working together to change how people view and treat snakes!