In one week, a social media network that I am a part of will launch a blog carnival to advance amphibian and reptile outreach and conservation. Social media has recently emerged as an important tool in conducting effective science education and outreach. A group of animals that has much to gain from this outreach include the amphibians and reptiles. Many reptiles and amphibians occur in large numbers in the ecosystems they inhabit, are top predators, and provide important services to their habitats. 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 December 9th 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 December 9th and help spread the word about our outreach event. We hope this to be the first of many social media events portraying different themes related to the importance of amphibians and reptiles.
December 9th 2013 Participating Blogs and Authors:
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
Contact Information: David Steen, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org)