Members of Auburn University’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology, or SCB, participated in an invasive species cleanup project on April 22, in honor of Earth Day (pictured). Participants worked in Auburn to eliminate privet and other nuisance plants that were choking out native species. The event was led by Sharon Herman, assistant research professor in Biological Sciences, and John Kush, research fellow in Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.
On May 5, students in SCB traveled to Conecuh National Forest to help release 33 snakes for the ongoing Eastern Indigo Snake Project. The largest snake in the U.S., the eastern indigo snake may once again have a thriving presence in extreme south Alabama thanks to the project, which represents a collaborative effort between Auburn University and various agencies interested in the preservation of this threatened species. The non-venomous eastern indigo snake is native to Alabama; however, there have been no verified sightings of the snake since the 1960s. Classified in 1978 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species, this large, rare snake is thought to be extirpated from Alabama. In an effort to reintroduce the eastern indigo snake to its native habitat in Alabama, Auburn University is a leader in raising juvenile eastern indigos to be released in the wild. To read more about the project, see the 2011 story, which includes video, Here. For more information on SCB, visit the SCB website.