Salamander seinging at the South Fork Natural History Museum. XYLIA SERAFY
Northern black racer snake at SOFO.FRANK QUEVEDO FRANK QUEVEDO
Like snakes? If so, you’ll want to check out the South Fork Natural History Museum’s (SOFO) new “Black Racer Snake Search” and annual “Salamander Seining” program led by SOFO board president and herpetology enthusiast Andy Sabin. These programs are for all ages and will take place on Saturday, May 25, with the snake program at 9:30 a.m. followed by salamanders at 10 a.m.
Dubbed the “Salamander Commander,” Mr. Sabin is fascinated by and knowledgeable about reptiles and amphibians, making him the perfect person to lead these excursions.
“Andy’s greatest passion is protecting animals and the habitats they live in. For more than 50 years, Andy has been surveying and searching for reptiles and amphibians throughout the South Fork,” said SOFO’s executive director Frank Quevedo who is a longtime assistant leader of the walks. “The property behind SOFO is one of Andy’s favorite and most productive places to find snakes, frogs and developing salamanders. Please join Andy and the SOFO staff as we search for these amazing creatures and share this up-close experience with all of you.”
The northern black racer snake is a very active and diurnal reptile. SOFO has placed wooden boards throughout the field to increase the chances of seeing this snake up close. After the snake hunt, Mr. Sabin will lead participants to a large pond on the property in search of salamander larvae and frog tadpoles, the young aquatic life stages of local amphibians. If he’s lucky, he will also find the larval form of Long Island’s endangered Eastern Tiger Salamander.
SOFO asks that participants dress appropriately for the weather. Reservations are required. The walks are free for SOFO members. For non-members, there is a fee of $15 per adult and $10 for children ages 3 to 12. The program fee also includes admission to the museum on any day of the program attendee’s choice. Please call the museum at 631-537-9735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
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