Ratsnake Tracks Field Report For July-Early August 2014

10 Aug

This is a new update on ENP’s newest reptile conservation and research project Snake Tracks: Ratsnake Tracks.  This project is being conducted at The Academy at Trails Carolina by Steve O’Neil and his natural resource and conservation management and wilderness therapy students as part of Steve’s ongoing reptile focused wildlife conservation citizen science projects.

In Snake Tracks: Splinter’s Tracks we follow in the tracks and trails of a wild adult Ratsnake known affectionately as Master Splinter.  Splinter was found by Steve just outside the nature center in the fall of 2013.  Shortly thereafter Splinter was fitted with a radio transmitter, treated for internal parasites, fed lots of mice and then overwintered in the nature center to await his release in the spring.

In early May Splinter was released and radio tracking has commenced.

Lately Splinter has been spending lots of time in and around the buildings on campus.  He is frequenting attics crawlspaces of unused and used buildings as well as large, hollow habitat trees.  I believe he is using these areas as foraging, thermoregulating and sheltering sites.

Watch the most recent field report videos from Splinter’s Tracks below.

Video Field Report Day 6:  Today we found Splinter on the move and weighed him.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSJ3URiCo5w

Video Field Report Day 7 and 8: Today we find Splinter in the attic of an old cabin.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_TdyPC3UWA

Video Field Report Day 9-12: Over these four tracking days we find Splinter moving between several buildings and a large den tree. This is a longer video than most but it is well worth the watch.

If the video does not play try following this link to watch the video on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NfJz5ZQQJs

Where will Splinter go next?

Follow this blog to stay up to date with the adventures of Master Splinter the ratsnake.


Thank you all for making the Snake Tracks and Turtle Tracks wildlife conservation projects possible.  Thank you for continuing to support Earthshine Nature Programs over the last seven years.  If the turtles and snakes could speak they would thank you even more than I because due to your support they will in turn be supported through the efforts of science being put to use in the areas of wildlife and habitat conservation.  Thank you also to the land owners in the community where these turtles and snakes live.  Thank you for taking care of these highly misunderstood but yet oh so important parts of a healthy ecosystem.

The story continues…


Snake Tracks is a reptile conservation and research project occurring near Earthshine Discovery Center and Dupont Forest in the mountains of western North Carolina, USA. Through the magic of modern technology and allot of hard volunteer work by a wildlife conservationist and his small crew of volunteers and students, glimpse into the lives of two wild Timber rattlesnakes and one Ratsnake in their natural habitats. For more detailed info on the project please take a look at the website at: http://www.earthshinenature.com

Follow us on our blog here at http://www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

It is our goal at ENP to promote wildlife conservation through our unique, exciting, citizen science based, hands-on education, out-reach programs, and online with our nature videos, blog and website.

Earthshine Nature Programs is a separate entity from Earthshine Discovery Center and is a 501c3 non profit. ENP is a 100% volunteer operated and donation funded organization. It is our mission to educate you about these beautiful but greatly misunderstood animals and hopefully, to impart to you their beauty, uniqueness and intrinsic value to a healthy Earth, healthy wildlife and healthy humans.

THANK YOU to all of you who have donated to ENP over the years!! Without you this important reptile conservation and education work would not happen. If you would like to support Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate by visiting


You may also donate supplies such as animal foods, medical supplies, vitamins and habitat supplies just contact us for more information on what supplies we are in need of and how to donate.

Visit http://www.earthshinediscovery.com to learn how you and your family, school, scout, corporate or camp group, can visit the Earthshine Discovery Center and have a wonderful fun and educational retreat!

Music by The Steep Canyon Rangers used with written permission.



Earthshine Nature Programs is in no way affiliated or responsible for ads that may appear below this line.



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