on Mar 12, 2013 05:02 PM • Views 3363

Frank Grubbs, a volunteer with NCPARC, holds a kingsnake and talks about conservation with exhibit visitors at the 2011 Reptile and Amphibian Day. Wildlife Commission and NCPARC staffs will have live animals on display this Saturday.

Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 12, 2013) — It is going to be a hopping, slithering, slinking kind of day on Saturday at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh when the 19th Annual Reptile and Amphibian Day kicks off at 9 a.m.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (NCPARC), will staff a booth featuring live reptiles and amphibians — collectively known as “herps” — on the third floor of the museum. Come check out slithering corn snakes, hopping toads and slinking salamanders, and don’t forget to pick up some free literature on how to turn your backyard into a haven for all kinds of wildlife, in particular amphibians and reptiles.

Be sure to test your snake-identification skills by playing the “Spot the Copperhead” game and don’t forget to pick up your “I Love Snakes” sticker as well.

While Reptile and Amphibian Day celebrates all reptiles and amphibians, snakes will be the special focus this year as 2013 has been designated “Year of the Snake,” both on the Chinese calendar and by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation,  an organization dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

NCPARC designated 2013 as the Year of the Snake to help raise awareness about snakes and the threats and human misperceptions that contribute to their decline.

Perhaps no other animal on this planet is as misunderstood and maligned as the snake, mostly due to the many, varied and often comical misconceptions people have about snakes. Some people contend that snakes are slimy — they’re not. Others say that snakes chase people — they don’t. Read more about some common snakes myths  dispelled by Commission Biologist Jeff Hall, who is also coordinator of NCPARC.

Reptile and Amphibian Day is hosted annually by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, which is located at 11 West Jones Street. The free event features more than 45 exhibitors and presenters. It starts at 9 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m.

For more information on nongame conservation in North Carolina, visit the conserving page.