B1 Intermediate UK 369 Folder Collection
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[♪ intro music ♪]
[snake rattling]
All pictures shared in this video are shared with the consent of the credited owners.
You've probably heard of fishing, camping, birding, hiking, and hunting,
but do you know about herping? What is herping?
Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians.
Herping is the act of searching for reptiles and amphibians in the wild.
The term herping is used by both professionals and amateurs, who are referred to as herpers.
Some herpers are knowledgeable professionals
who can earn a living from herping in various capacities,
such as wildlife photography, research expeditions,
and collecting wild specimens for scientific research.
And for others, it's an enjoyable hobby
and a way to test your ability to understand the behavior of different species.
For me, it's the latter.
I have been enjoying herping as a hobby all over the world
since before I even knew that there was a word for finding reptiles and amphibians.
But herping isn't and shouldn't be as easy as crashing around the wilderness until you find something.
In this video I'd love to share with you some of the basics
to help you get started with your own herping adventures,
and to share some tips and advice which will ensure that
you are a positive influence within the herping community.
Herping is going to be different around the world with different laws and environments,
so use this video as a rough guide and tailor it to suit where you're going to be herping.
Also, if you're a herper, what has been your greatest find so far?
For me, my greatest find was the Malayan pit viper. Amazing!
I saw this sign in Kenya and I think it works really well for herping.
"Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
To herp successfully, you need to understand the behavior of the species you're searching for.
Are they nocturnal? Diurnal? Crepuscular?
What temperatures do they like? When are they hibernating?
And when are they likely to be on the crawl for food? When is their breeding season?
Where will they likely be nesting?
Understand all of these things to give you the best chance
of finding the species you'd like to encounter.
[camera click]
Let's talk a bit about safety.
If you don't 100% know the species you encounter, don't touch it!
The most dangerous snake on earth is the one that just bit you.
I know it can be tempting to take a free handling selfie with a venomous snake or
to take a video clip with something awesome,
but just don't.
The reality of getting bitten by a venomous snake in the wild
is that you and your partner or group may not be able to get you to safety.
Also if you do manage to get to a hospital for antivenin,
they may not have the specific antidote for you.
If you do get bitten in the USA and your health insurance won't cover your medical bills,
you can potentially kiss your house and your pension goodbye.
Just don't risk it.
And on that note, be aware of the plants around you.
You don't want to accidentally lean against or squat on any poison ivy.
You don't.
If for whatever reason you do happen to get tagged by a venomous snake,
remain calm. Take a picture of the snake for identification
and calmly have your herping buddy or buddies get you to a place where you can receive medical assistance.
The more you panic the faster your heart will beat
and the faster the venom will spread around your body.
It's a total myth that you can suck the venom out of a wound
and you can't just pee on the wound to neutralize any stinging
like you would with some jellyfish stings.
You have to get yourself to a hospital and take a picture of the snake with you.
Handling wild specimens. Okay. I know it's tough
and I know it's tempting, believe me.
But it is always, always better not to touch any reptile or amphibian you find in the wild.
Not only does handling cause the animals stress,
but you could also be potentially contaminating the animal
and therefore its environment with your own bacteria which it's not used to.
In some states and countries,
it is completely prohibited to disturb or touch any native wildlife.
So check your local laws first.
Flipping is when you overturn logs, rocks, stones, and other things to look underneath for any animals.
If you do flip anything, it's extremely important to put it back.
Otherwise, you completely destroy the microhabitat.
It can be tempting to rip apart decaying logs or peeling tree bark to expose any hidden invertebrates,
But please don't do this. It destroys homes for much more than what you can see with the naked eye.
Also, you may encounter flippable objects which at first glance look like junk.
An old carpet, a couch, a wooden board, or a piece of sheet metal.
These are often fantastic little safe spots and even
nests for some reptiles and amphibians.
Be very careful when disturbing what looks like junk.
Boards are often laid down by herpers
because they offer snakes and amphibians cover and food.
Boards are placed in strategic locations and left to mature for a number of years.
First of all, the rodents move in, and then they're followed by the snakes.
If you flip a board, please, please, please put it back exactly as you found it!
Some people study the same site for decades
and disrupting a board can ruin valuable research.
If you have a large yard or a piece of land,
consider putting your own boards down to study too.
In our yard we have boards which house salamanders, frogs, and even milk snakes.
Don't disturb your boards too often or the reptiles and amphibians won't feel comfortable enough
to use it as a place to hide or breed.
Okay, finding places to herp and people to go herping with.
This is tricky, really tricky.
And my best advice is to research the reptiles and amphibians you really want to find,
read about their known geographical ranges,
and utilize apps such as Instagram to search for the hashtags of these animals
and try and decipher where the sightings are.
It's really not much use to ask herpers where they go.
I know this sounds horrible,
But herpers are notoriously secretive and suspicious and for good reason.
Seasoned herpers won't just tell you their locations to be nice to you
because the threat of poaching and over-frequenting a site is real.
You have to really earn a fellow herper's trust and to truly respect herping as an art form. Take it from me.
Most herpers are fantastic people and truly love herping.
That's why they want to protect their professions and their hobbies.
There is a well-known saying among herpers.
"It's not who you take herping, it's who they take."
Not everyone should be entrusted with knowing where certain reptiles and amphibians are,
and many herpers build special attachments to individual animals they see year after year.
Trust me, herpers aren't trying to exclude you by not sharing their sites,
they're trying to protect the safety of the wildlife that they study, and you should do the same.
If you're interested in becoming part of a herpping crowd,
show that you're trustworthy and build a name for yourself.
Join herping Facebook groups to share good quality pictures of reptiles and amphibians you find in the wild.
Always read the rules before posting in herping Facebook groups.
Eventually, you might find some acquaintances who may be interested in herping with you and vice versa.
The right attire can make or break your herping trip.
Sturdy walking boots with water resistancy are essential.
Make sure you break these in before your herping trip. Otherwise, this happens.
Even if it's hot, it's a good idea to have long trousers which you can tuck into your boots.
Remember when you're herping you'll probably be in long grass not just open trail.
So protecting yourself from vegetation, ticks, and mosquitoes
is far more preferable than working on your tan.
Because my herping trips tend to start earlier in the day when it's cooler,
I have a warm zip-up and a moisture-wicking long-sleeve shirt underneath.
One of my favorite pieces to wear in the field are face shields. I get mine from SA Company.
They mop up your sweat and keep your face and neck clear from insects.
I also use them to cover my head and my hair in insect-dense places.
Otherwise my hair becomes a home for all sorts of creatures that I do not want to bring home.
Gear. Heading out into the wilderness feels amazing
but make sure you have what you'll need for the day plus some extras, just in case.
Here are some things that I recommend.
[♪ music ♪]
There are specific tools that you can buy to aid you with herping.
Snake hooks are great for handling snakes at a safe distance.
Danny and I have a huge collection of very sexy snake hooks, grabbers, and pinners at home,
but we rarely take them out unless we're traveling abroad or to another state.
In New Jersey it's actually prohibited to enter a state forest with a snake hook
because you are not supposed to pester the native wildlife.
Again, understand your local laws.
Many herpers have what is known as a beater vehicle.
This is a sturdy vehicle usually with good ground clearance,
which you can throw around and literally beat around without worrying about its aesthetic.
If you are planning on going offroad,
ensure that your vehicle is fit to travel.
Take extra fuel or gas with you if you can, as some places can get remote.
And ensure that you have a spare tire and a puncture repair kit.
Of course, if you're planning on driving to an easily accessible location,
these may not be required, but it's always good to be prepared.
Be vigilant! Danger is real and when you're out herping it's really easy to get distracted.
Be on the lookout for any native predators. Be mindful of cliffs.
Remember which direction you came from.
And if you spot anything suspicious or encounter something which you think may be connected to a crime,
do not touch it.
Record the location, take a picture, date it, timestamp it, and report it to the local authorities.
Make records. If you successfully find reptiles and amphibians,
make a note of the location, the time, the date, the weather conditions.
This will help you to understand the optimum conditions for finding these animals again in the future.
If you find anything which you think could be a sign of biological menace,
such as vast amounts of dead fish or fungus-covered amphibians,
photograph your findings and record your location
before reporting this to your local environmental office.
Herpers play a vital role in monitoring the health of local ecosystems and habitats.
One of the biggest threats to amphibians today is chytridiomycosis.
Also just referred to as chytrid for short.
It's a fungal disease, which has already decimated many wild populations of amphibians.
Speaking of diseases, it's a great habit to get into
to disinfect your boots and your equipment between uses and sites.
A 3% bleach and water solution is great to carry
pre-mixed in a bottle to clean your boots with.
You don't want to track chytrid or any other disease from place to place.
Use bleach solutions far away from any bodies of water,
preferably on tarmac or on gravel,
to minimize the disinfectant coming into contact with animals or other water sources.
For snake hooks and pond nets, antibacterial wipes are essential between uses.
Don't use bleach on those. Just use antibacterial wipes for snake hooks and pond nets.
Lastly but most importantly, have fun!
Explore, discover, learn, and make memories.
And don't poach wildlife. Don't do it.
I will personally throw you in jail.
Legit all 5 foot 4 inches of me will citizen arrest you and stick your hiney behind bars.
Do not poach wildlife.
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369 Folder Collection
B.Y.l published on July 20, 2018    B.Y.l translated    Evangeline reviewed
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