Research in action! And HHiSS is there too!!

The Luambe Conservation Project is currently conducting herpetological research in the Luangwa valley. The objective is to make an inventory of reptiles and amphibians that are found in the Luambe National park. The project is a cooperation with the Copperbelt University (CBU). The lead researcher is Dr. Phillipp Wagner, who has done herpetological research in the Luangwa valley in the past. In preparation for their tasks, three of the team members, Tom Riffel, Lily Sparrow and Ben Ellis received a full snake awareness, identification first aid and snake handling training from HHiSS.

At the project area, they are supported by Choti Singh, the Director of Operations for Save the Snakes in Zambia and Bornface Banda and Wilson, the HHiSS snake removers in Mfuwe. In addition, team member Joshua Baal and a representative from the CBU have recently joined the research activities.

Despite the recent cold weather, several interesting sightings were made. Several Buttoned Geckos, three (!) Rufous Beaked Snakes, Spitting Cobras, a Boomslang and Bark Snakes being the more noticeable.

As part of the project, the local villages and schools were visited where the joint team gave snake awareness talks to the local communities.

There are further plans to increase the knowledge on snakes in this community, as well as train community snake catchers. Finally, there is need to train local health practitioners in snakebite management.

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