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Rebecca Smith - Herps at the KSC

By Karl Betz

rsmith1.jpg (13556 bytes)The meeting for November got off to a great start with a huge turnout. Lynn Monlezun, the President, started with some general announcements followed by Mike Monlezun introducing our guest speaker, Rebecca Smith from Dynamac Corporation.

Rebecca has the enviable job as a field biologist at the Kennedy Space Center. She gave an excellent overview of the myriad of habitats in the relatively small area rsmithwithjean.jpg (15422 bytes)covered by the Space Center. Rebecca then broke down the studies going on and the various species of reptiles and some other federally listed animals, such as Scrub Jays, that are indigenous to the area. One of the highlights was the Gopher Tortoise, which is fairly common on the grounds and often needs to be relocated - which she explained can be as easy as moving them across a field or as difficult as digging them out of their burrows with the expert help of an artistic backhoe operator. Another highlight was the Eastern Indigo Snake. Although not exactly common, the Indigo is frequently found on the grounds at the Center and there are several studies in progress concerning them. After a short question and answer period, Elvis – the MOSH’s own 6 foot long Eastern Indigo Snake came out for us to see. A beautiful snake, indeed. Rebecca gave an excellent presentation accompanied by some beautiful slides, which were operated by her mom. Thanks, Rebecca.

The meeting was rounded out with a raffle of many plants, magazines and other rsmithgroup2.jpg (15372 bytes)herp-related items donated by various members.

Next month’s meeting will be the annual members-only Christmas Social. The following January meeting has Dr. Richard Blaney scheduled to speak about kingsnakes, ratsnakes and the subspecies concept. Come out and join us.

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