Sanctuary Workshop With Gerry Martin On Snake Rescue, Management And Conflict
Sanctuary’s Mud On Boots Project collaborates with The Gerry Martin Project to conduct a hands on snake management workshop in Hunsur.
In the last week of August 2018, the Mud on Boots Project facilitated a four-day capacity building workshop for a team of snake rescuers from the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department. The workshop was held at the beautiful Center for Conservation and Education on the banks of the Devikere lake in Hunsur and was conducted by herpetologist Gerry Martin.
During the workshop, the six member team was introduced to snake biology, snake bite management, and myths and misconceptions regarding snake behaviour. The team also went through rigorous hands on training on internationally recognised best practices of snake rescue, rehabilitation and release. The workshop put light on how snake rescuing often misunderstood as mere removal of snake from a conflicting spot is a far more intricate practice and involves thorough understanding of snake biology, behaviour, habits and ensures safe release of the snake in its home range.
Mud on Boots Project Leaders Arpit Mishra and Vivek Mishra were members of the attending team. The duo have been working relentlessly to mitigate human-snake conflict in Seoni, Madhya Pradesh. Surrounded by thick forest and inhabiting large stretches of farmlands, residents of Seoni often encounter snakes in their homes. The 24 hour helpline service established by the Forest Department receives calls daily, with rescuers catching and releasing an average of 15 snakes from residential areas every month.
"The workshop has not only added value to our handling practices and helped us identify harmful methods of snake handling but has also given us a perspective on minimising the human-snake conflict in our area," said Vivek Mishra on the last day of the workshop.
"Such capacity building trainings and exposure trips under expert guidance are crucial to the tireless efforts of grassroots conservationists. It's been fantastic to have The Gerry Martin Project on board for this," agreed Mud on Boots Project Coordinator Maitreyee Mujumdar who organised and attended the workshop.