Sakaerat Conservation and Snake Education Team, U.S.A./THAILAND
Colin Strine is a young conservationist and ecologist working for Suranaree Unversity of Technology in Northeastern Thailand. He established the Thailand King Cobra Telemetry Project with Dr. Matt Goode, and Dr. Pongthep Suwanwaree in 2013 and has since expanded the program to include conservation components. He also established Sakaerat Conservation and Snake Education Team (SCSET) to train hundreds of emergency technicians surrounding the biosphere reserve and throughout Thailand on mitigating human snake conflict through snake removal and educational resources distributed by the rescue crews. In addition, this team trains international volunteers from around the world in radio telemetry, conservation actions, data collection and spatial ecology techniques. Colin is currently a member of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) and the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). He currently lectures at Suranaree University of Technology and has five graduate students working with him.
King cobra movement through a hostile landscape– incorporating time, space, and trajectory into movement analyses.
Benjamin Michael Marshall, Colin Thomas Strine* Matt Crane, Ines Silva, Surachit Waengsothorn, Taksin Artchawakom, Max Dolton Jones, Pongthep Suwanwaree, and Matt Goode
Suranaree University of Technology, School of Biology, Institute of Science, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30000
Understanding how animals move is critical to providing useful conservation and management advice to policy makers. How animals react to land-use changes can yield insight into how animals are changing their behavior to survive in rapidly changing environments (specifically agricultural areas). Animals tend to reduce movement in agricultural areas, but reptiles (and snakes are sorely under-represented in the literature). We examined the king cobra, in Northeast Thailand. We used a scheduled radio-telemetry regime to examine movement between forest and agricultural areas and then used GPS-targeting analytic methods to examine movement variance, movement frequency and site re-use. We show that king cobra movements increase when in forested areas and tend to decrease when in agricultural areas. In agricultural areas king cobras restricted their movements to stay within vegetated semi-natural areas, often located along the banks of irrigation canals. Site re-use patterns were similar for both agricultural areas and protected forests. Presence of threatening landscape features (roads and settlements) did not affect movement variance consistently; suggesting that they will remain in close proximity to threats provided habitat patches are available. There were individual differences in their response to agricultural landscape, but the main trend suggests a movements reduce in fragmented habitat patches embedded in agriculture. Our findings match with movement theory on forest specialist species and the findings for mammals. Future works should look to the implications of reduced movements on individual fitness and ecosystem functioning