Become a Citizen Scientist – Do you want to help slow down the spread of harmful invasive species and reduce their ecological and economic damage? The first step is to locate where invaders have arrived and get that information to those who can do something about it. That’s where citizen scientists come in. Citizen scientists are volunteers who receive expert training to identify and track important invaders in our area.
Invaders of Texas Volunteer Workshops – Held in cooperation with the Texas Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Cooperative Extension, and Texas Master Naturalists.
How to Participate and Register – Go to Citizen Scientist Toolkit page.
Step 1. Download and read “Being an Invaders Volunteer”
Step 2. Download and submit a completed Volunteer Interest Form to the local host of one of the scheduled workshops at least two weeks prior to the workshop date.
Step 3. The Local Host will notify you by email if your registration is accepted. Class size is limited to 30 participants per workshop and registration is on a first come first served basis. So be sure and register early! All materials will be provided. Class size is limited to 30 participants. If you have a GPS unit and/or digital camera, bring them with you. Continue reading
The Great Plains Rat Snake (Elaphe guttata emoryi) has large brown blotches on a gray background. Adult snakes, which are typically smaller than the Texas Rat Snake, are 3 to 4 feet long.
This snake feeds on rodents and birds.
The Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii) is probably the most common large snake found in Texas. The snake is often given the common name “chicken snake,” probably because of of it’s fondness for eggs, particularly a hen’s eggs. This snake is often misidentified for several reasons.
This snake will vibrate its tail, and depending on what the tail is hitting against may make a sound that will make you think that you are dealing with a rattlesnake, even though they have no rattle! While the juveniles are colored with brown blotches on a gray background, the adult’s dark gray to black blotches will be on a red, orange, yellow, or even white background, giving the snake a wide range of possible color combinations. Continue reading
The Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos)is easily identified by its upturned snout. The Eastern Hognose is a very stout-bodied snake with brown blotches on a background that can vary from light tan to gray. Color can vary substantially between the habitats that this snake lives in. This is also a very unique snake with very unusual defenses!
When this non-venomous snake is first encountered, it will flare its neck and head so that it somewhat resembles a cobra and hiss very loudly! If this doesn’t scare you away, the snake may roll over on its back with its mouth open and “play dead.” If you roll it back upright, it will flip itself back onto its back, as though insisting that it is dead!
The adults average around 2 feet long, and they feed almost exclusively on toads.
The Bullsnake (Pituophis catenfer sayi) is a large snake, averaging 4 to 6 feet in length when mature. Bullsnakes have brown blotches that are almost square on a background of light brown to almost yellow in some cases.
This snake is capable of hissing very loudly and they do constrict their prey, which consists mostly of rodents and birds.