Meet the Snake Kings of Saguaro National Park

During the recent BioBlitz in the Saguaro National park, Arizona, we met two members of the Tucson Herpetological Society: Robert Villa and Hanna Strauss. The Tucson Herp Society is dedicated to conservation, education and research concerning the amphibians and reptiles of Arizona and Mexico. Villa and Strauss were at the BioBlitz with two species of king snake to talk about these special reptiles found in the park.

As can be seen from the video, the snakes are startlingly different. One is red and the other black. But as docile and friendly as they appear, apparently they dine on a snake most people would rather not encounter — rattlesnakes.

Snakes play a massive role in keeping the entire Saguaro ecosystem in balance, so we really need to look after and appreciate them.

12418031_10153900711084116_8462971761216697621_nDavid Braun is director of outreach with the digital and social media team illuminating the National Geographic Society’s explorer, science, and education programs.

He edits National Geographic Voices, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society’s mission and major initiatives. Contributors include grantees and Society partners, as well as universities, foundations, interest groups, and individuals dedicated to a sustainable world. More than 50,000 readers have participated in 10,000 conversations.

Braun also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship

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Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn