Next Gen Herpetologist

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Another great blog entry by Jessica Evans, that lists, explains and debunks some of the most popular myths pertaining to snakes. https://www.bite-sizedsci.com/single-post/2019/04/25/6-snake-myths—busted Advertisements

On the 11th of February 2019, I did a snake presentation for members of the Grahamstown Rotary Club at the Graemian Centre, Graeme College. The talk was well received with over 30 people attending on the day. I spoke about the common and endemic species of snake found in the Albany area, and what to do if one encounters a snake in their daily lives. In addition to detailing the snakes of… Read More

On the 27th of March 2019, I did a chameleon presentation for members of the Men’s League in Grahamstown. It was the second time I had addressed the group as I had spoken to the group a year before on the ‘Snakes of Grahamstown’. This time around I spoke about chameleons, their biology, and the different species found throughout South Africa. I capped the talk off with a short discussion of the… Read More

Another great blog entry by Jessica Evans, that explains what to do if you get bitten by a snake, and the effects of the different types of snake venoms found in South Africa. https://www.bite-sizedsci.com/single-post/2019/04/15/What-do-I-do-if-I-get-bitten-by-a-snake-how-venom-works

From the 5th to the 8th of February I took part in the Albany Museum, ‘Reptile Week’, in which I presented snake demonstrations to over 550 students in just four days. Although tiring, the experience was incredibly rewarding with many kids taking the opportunity to touch and interact with a snake for the first time in their lives. Most of the students were younger than nine years old and thus I opted… Read More

On wednesday the 14th of November I hosted the last snake demonstration of 2018 in front of the Rhodes University, on Barratt lawns. The demo was incredibly well-attended with over fifty coming along on the day. At the snake demo I showcased all the snakes that I had removed from Grahamstown properties the week before. Because of the warm weather that preceded the demo, the talk was also well-attended. So much so… Read More

Towards the end of last year I hosted a Birthday Critter Walk for a young Grahamstown boy and all his friends. Whilst some kids like like to go to the cinema, or to the Go Kart track for their birthdays, that doesn’t seem to hold for the youth of Grahamstown, whom have an insatiable appetite for nature. The day was a great success and whilst we weren’t able to find any cape… Read More

The the 9th of September, I attended the WESSA/ Grocott’s Mail #CelebrateNaturalHeritage Bio-Bash and Photo Walk at the Makana Botanical Gardens. The day was designed to teach the youth of Grahamstown about the amazing wildlife that surrounds them. It also aimed to ignite some creative flair through encouraging artistic expression through photography. My colleagues (Anthony Evlambiou, Bruce Roestoff and Cara Trivella) and I helped out by guiding the students through the gardens… Read More

On Monday, the 1st of October I delivered a snake talk to COSATU Project Management Delegates from Rhodes Business School, at the the National English Literary Museum (NELM). The talk dealt with snake identification and myths and was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the delegates took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes that… Read More

On Friday, the 28th of September myself and Dr Shelley Edwards delivered a snake talk to the entire Kingswood College High School in their school chapel. The talk dealt with snake biology and identification and  was followed by a short section on snakebite treatment. The talk was well received and at the end, a large portion of the students stayed behind to see the snakes on display. Although some of the students… Read More

On Wednesday, the 26th of September I delivered a snake talk and demonstration to Grade 9 learners at Victoria Girls High School. Although some of the girls were scared of the snakes, many of the girls took the opportunity to handle and interact with the snakes on display. Some of the girls handled a snake for the first time in their lives. The talk was delivered to the entire ninth grade and… Read More

On Tuesday the 12th of June, myself and Dr Shelley Edwards presented a snake demonstration for members of the Kingswood College Environmental Club. The demonstration was well received and after a short introduction, most students took the opportunity to handle the snakes on display. It was a great time spent with some enthusiastic students, and I look forward to my next talk at the school.

In March of this year, I played my final game of the season for Manley Flats Cricket Club. The teams consisted of a mix-match of both first team and second team players and was great fun for all involved. Although I spend much of my time buried in the world of herpetology, I do take breaks every now and then to do the other things that give me joy. One of those… Read More

In march of this year I was asked to do a snake demonstration for students of Graeme  the demonstration took place in the hostel, after hours, and the audience consisted of both primary and high-school kids. While some of the guys had seen and handled snakes in the past, many had not, making it a very special occasion for some of the guys. All in all, it was great evening filled with… Read More

On Saturday the 5th of May I hosted the second critter walk. The event was well received, with quite a few people coming on the day. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured the week before on callouts, and was followed by a two hour ‘critter walk’ on a nearby farm. We managed to find several interesting species of… Read More

On the 19th of April, I was the keynote speaker for the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) Grahamstown AGM, that took place in Eden Grove lecture theatre, at Rhodes University. In the first part of my talk, I discussed the reptiles that could be found in and around Grahamstown, and how to identify them. I also talked about snakebite treatment, snake myths, and what to do if you encounter… Read More

Death-shamming, death-feigning, playing dead, and thanatosis are all words that describe the process whereby animals pretend to be dead in the hope of being left alone by a perceived threat. When encountered, the Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemechatus) will often take every opportunity to escape. When cornered they will lift nearly half of their body off the ground and spread a large hood in an attempt to intimidate the perceived threat. Once hooded, the… Read More

On the 23rd of April, Dr Shelley Edwards and I delivered a snake talk for primary and high school learners of P.J. Olivier school in Grahamstown. The talk, which was delivered during their morning assembly, to a crowd of approximately 365 learners, was my biggest snake talk to date. the assembly was attended by students from grade 1 all the way to Grade 12 and was challenging and exhilarating at the same… Read More

On the 17th of April, I presented an afternoon snake talk for high school learners of Nombulelo Highschool, at their school, on the outskirts of Grahamstown. The talk, which comprised of both a PowerPoint presentation and a live snake demonstration, was a great opportunity to engage with the students about reptiles, and dispel some of the myths that surround snakes in the area. The PowerPoint presentation was challenging because of the language… Read More

On Sunday the 18th of march I hosted a private snake ‘walk and talk’ for the nature club of Graham High School. Although it was intended as a two part event, only the talk took place because of the bad weather conditions. Due to the cold weather, and the intermittent thunderstorms, we were unable to go out and explore the wilder parts of Grahamstown, in search of reptiles and frogs. Nevertheless, the… Read More

On Wednesday the 14th of February I delivered two back-to-back snake awareness talks at Victoria Girls High School (VGHS) in Grahamstown. The talks, which touched on snake anatomy, behaviour and ecology, were very well received by both classes. Although many of the girls were frightened by the sight of a live snake, most of them took the opportunity to interact with the live snakes on display. Thanks goes to VGHS, and more… Read More

On Saturday the 17th of March I hosted my third critter walk. The event was well received with approximately 35 people attending on the day. The day started out with a short snake demonstration, in which I showcased some of the snakes I had captured the week before on callouts, and was followed by a two hour ‘critter walk’ on a nearby farm. Whilst the weather was not great to start with,… Read More

On Sunday the 25th of February I was a guest on the radio show ‘The Book and the Brain’ on RMR 89.7FM. The show which ran for just over 20 minutes discussed snakes and my research within the field of herpetology. The show focussed particularly on species’ of snakes found within Grahamstown, and the controversy that surrounds them. The show, which I was thrilled to be a part of, was great fun… Read More

Grahamstown, and its surrounds, plays host to high level of animal diversity. The complexity of the habitat coupled with favourable climatic and environmental conditions has resulted in ideal conditions for many species of frog. In and round Grahamstown, there are just over 15 species of frog. This list contains all the frog species that I have found here. Some are not on the list because I do not have decent photos of them yet…. Read More

Grahamstown, and the area surrounding, plays host to some amazing reptile diversity. if you are keen on reptiles, like myself, and wish to find them all, you will be surprised at just how much there is to find. There are approximately 24 species of snake in and around Grahamstown, but don’t worry, if you are not looking for them, they’re are only a handful that you really have to watch out for…. Read More