September - October 2022
Edmonton and Area Land Trust is seeking volunteers for their gartersnake relocation project this fall. This citizen science opportunity involves capturing and relocating red-sided gartersnakes, a common species in the Edmonton area. EALT is seeking volunteers that have previous wildlife handling experience and/or study or work in the biological sciences. Citizen science activities do not often include wildlife handling; take advantage of this unique opportunity and help EALT in their conservation efforts!
Earlier this year, EALT was notified that there is a hibernaculum right next to one of their conservation lands west of Edmonton. However, this hibernaculum is right next to the road, putting the snakes at risk of being harmed during migration. With help from Alberta Environment and other partners, EALT is building two snake hibernacula on the land to provide a better habitat alternative.
As the gartersnakes return to their hibernaculum this September and October, EALT will need volunteers to visit the land frequently to tend to the traps and relocate the gartersnakes to their new hibernacula.
This project will involve:
- Trapping, handling, and relocating red-sided gartersnakes
- Hiking in the field
- Attending in-person citizen science training to learn proper handling, data collection, and relocation methods (tentative date evening of September 7).
- Having a reliable form of transportation to get to the site (30 min drive west of Edmonton)
- Being available at morning and mid-day times
- Working with a field partner (this can be a friend, family member, or another trained volunteer)
- Following EALT's safety program including using a check-in contact, following safe work guidelines, and submitting site hazard assessments (described during training)
- Accurately recording and submitting data to EALT
- Treating this project with discretion (not broadcasting it on social media)
There are varying opinions of snakes by the public, so we anticipate that this project may cause both positive and negative interest. As EALT volunteers often interact with the public, EALT asks that volunteers treat this project with discretion and help them protect these sensitive species by not sharing the location of this project.
Interested individuals can sign up for more information by clicking the link below. Questions can be sent to Conservation Coordinator Ciara at firstname.lastname@example.org .