Reptiles are everywhere, and serve an important role in the ecosystem of whatever biome they’re a part of. Reactions to them range from abject terror to an acute fascination with them, unsurprising given that Hollywood has a tendency to lean towards the Monstrous when displaying these otherwise magnificent creatures.
The truth of the matter is that reptiles are a vital part of a healthy environment, with common snakes helping to keep down bugs and rodents that would love to make a nest in your home. Reptile Awareness Day is an excellent opportunity to educate yourself on the wonders of the scaly world, and perhaps learn an appreciation for them.
History of Reptile Awareness Day
Reptile Awareness Day was created by a group of reptile enthusiasts intent on changing the public image of their beloved scaly friends. Since then R.A.D. has been a popular event for the herpetologically inclined to gather and share their love of the cold-blooded critters that share their lives. From the magnificent Bearded Dragon, playful Gecko’s, Turtles, and the huge but cuddly Forest Boa, reptiles are increasingly popular pets the world around.
Even Zoos get in on the action, using these days to promote awareness of their alligator and crocodile exhibits, and helping to alert the world to the plight of endangered reptiles like the Leatherback Sea Turtles. For reasons from human predation of their eggs to the destruction of their habitats, there are many of the world’s reptiles who are nearing extinction. Reptile Awareness Day is a great opportunity to help educate people on how to protect them.
NATIONAL REPTILE AWARENESS DAY ACTIVITIES
Donate to a reptile conservation program
There are a lot of different organizations that want to continue educating the public about our reptilian friends. One way they do this is by also advocating for us to have the ability to keep reptiles as pets. Donate to your favorite organization to help them continue being the voice for reptiles.
Visit a National Park
Regardless of what part of the country you live in, reptiles play a major part in your ecosystem. By visiting your nearest national park, you’re helping promote a place that is dedicated to preserving the natural habitats for all animals that live in that area – including, of course, the reptiles. Some notably reptilian parks are Joshua Tree, Big Bend, and the Everglades.
Identify a reptile (or two, or three)
Consumer science is an important part of helping researchers understand where our cold-blooded friends live and their population densities. Many identification apps are created by institutions to help draw in that data. If you see a lizard or other reptile, use an app to ID it. This helps scientists understand where certain populations live and how well they’re adapting among us. The Audubon Reptiles & Amphibians app is a great place to start.
NATIONAL REPTILE AWARENESS DAY DATES