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2013 is the Chinese Year of the Snake (YOS) and Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) has launched a campaign to raise awareness for snake conservation issues throughout the year. The Orianne Society, who has partnered with PARC since our inception, has stepped up to help run and contribute to this campaign, along with other PARC partners. Organizations partnering with YOS include, The Orianne Society, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, U.S. Forest Service, The Center for Snake Conservation, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Wilderness Center, Siena College, and Wildlife Conservation Society.

Our first task was to hold a logo contest, so that we could brand the campaign and include the winning logo on all of the YOS materials. The Orianne Society accepted and compiled all of the logos submitted and coordinated a vote to select the winner. The winning logo was designed by Ann Hirschfeld of St. Louis, Missouri!

The Orianne Society is providing staff time and expertise to develop several products and support materials for YOS efforts. We developed and reviewed the State of the Snake document, which describes current conservation concerns and needs of snakes and highlights some of the few snake conservation success stories, including those for Eastern Indigo Snakes and Lake Erie Water Snakes. We are identifying and posting content to the YOS website and Facebook pages as well as providing and gathering articles for the YOS monthly newsletter and editing each newsletter issue. We are also making monthly announcements on the PARC listserv when each month’s newsletter and calendar are ready. The Orianne Society provides oversight for the YOS campaign, which includes tracking needs and deadlines for the monthly photo contest and newsletters, checking the YOS email account, running monthly calls among the YOS partners and generally keeping the effort going!

We just launched the YOS January 1, 2013, and have recently started looking for partners. If you or your organization are interested in being a YOS partner, please let us know at PARCyearofthesnake@gmail.com! The Orianne Society has reached out to partners as well as compiled the information to create the YOS Partners Page.

Raising awareness for snake conservation is very important to The Orianne Society and we’re excited to help with this important campaign. Please join us in celebrating 2013 as Year of the Snake! You can participate by submitting a photo of a snake to our monthly photo contest, becoming a partner for YOS, writing an article for one of our monthly newsletters, and spreading the word by liking or sharing information from the YOS Facebook page.

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