School of Natural Resources and Environment, USA
As an undergraduate, Matt studied Prairie Rattlesnake defensive behavior for his honor’s degree in Biology. After graduating, he spent two years in Aruba studying the Aruba Island Rattlesnake. Matt taught high school biology in The Netherlands for several years before returning to the US, where he subsequently completed his MS and PhD at the University of Arizona. Matt has published over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters dealing with ecology and conservation of herpetofauna, primarily snakes. Currently, he is a Research Scientist in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Arizona, where he maintains an active research program in the US and internationally. Matt is a member of the IUCN Viper Specialist Group, and he serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Wildlife Management. He is also a founding board member and Chief Scientific Advisor to the King Cobra Conservancy, an NGO dedicated to conservation of king cobras and the habitats on which they depend.
Long-Term Effects of Urbanization on Three Sympatric Rattlesnake Species in Arizona
Matt Goode, University of Arizona
Abstract: Among snake species, rattlesnakes are one of the most studied groups. However, there exist significant gaps in our knowledge of how urban development effects rattlesnakes. Understanding anthropogenic impacts associated with urbanization is critical for developing effective conservation strategies. We examined responses to urban development among three rattlesnake species, Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox), Tiger Rattlesnakes (Crotalus tigris) and Black-tailed Rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus). Since 2002, we conducted repeated surveys at Stone Canyon, an urbanizing residential development located at the base of the Tortolita Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, USA. Making use of our long-term dataset, we compare relative abundance, activity patterns, and other aspects of rattlesnake ecology and behavior. We discuss our results as they relate to rattlesnake ecology in general, and to the influence of anthropogenic factors on populations over time.
Ecology and Conservation of King Cobras in India and Southeast Asia
Matt Goode, Rom Whitaker, Colin Strine and Muhammed Silmi
Abstract: The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake, reaching lengths of up to 5-6 m. These charismatic snakes have long captured the imagination of people throughout the world, putting fear in the hearts of some, while inspiring awe in others. When be began studying King Cobras in India in 2008, there had never been an in-depth study of the species’ ecology in the wild. Using radio telemetry, we learned a great deal about these amazing snakes, publishing several shorter papers on our research. Obviously, with such a small sample size, we needed to do more. We began research on King Cobras in Thailand in 2013. To date, we have radio tracked over 20 individuals, publishing a series of papers based on more robust sample sizes. Our talk will focus on king cobra spatial ecology, habitat use, diet, and reproductive activity, including data from juvenile snakes. And finally, I will discuss our newly begun research in Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan), where we are studying king cobras associated with an oil palm plantation in an effort to learn more about how to conserve this flagship species in the face of dramatic environmental degradation. In addition to research findings, I will also discuss our extensive outreach efforts designed to engage local communities and the general public in the conservation of King Cobras and the habitats on which they depend.