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Putting together a project
Scientific research
Rat eradication
Ecological restoration
Captive breeding
Sa far so good
Special Agent Daltry
the snake doctor

The mystery of the disappearing snake
Before the project began, the Antiguan racer was close to extinction, but nobody knew just how close. It was a race against time to learn as much as possible about the snake and find out why it was in so much trouble. This was a case for... The Snake Doctor.

Dr Jenny Daltry, a snake expert from Fauna & Flora International, arrived on Great Bird Island in 1995. Her mission was to investigate the Antiguan racer, identify its enemies and report back on its population size and demography, morphology, feeding ecology, habitat use and activity patterns. In other words, how many snakes are left, how old are they, what sex are they, how big do they grow, what do they eat, how do they catch it, where do they hang out and what do they do all day?

Spotlight on the Snake Doctor: 1. Preparation


Turn on, tune in, and check
out - tracking the snake

To help answer these questions, five snakes were fitted with radio transmitters and followed everywhere they went.

Read all about her findings in Private Investigations - The truth about the Antiguan racer

Spotlight on the Snake Doctor: 2. Living On An Island
Since that first survey, the snakes have been studied carefully for at least six weeks every year. Without scientific research, we would not know when or how to act, or even whether the project was helping the snake. But fieldwork can be tough. In total, Dr Daltry has spent more than one year of her life on Great Bird Island.
Spotlight on the Snake Doctor: 3. Weights & Measures

Could you cope with living in a tent for weeks on end?

Before you answer that question, read Snake Doctor's Diary - A day in the life of a field scientist

The survey work doesn't just focus on the snakes. The project team has also gathered information on the other wildlife of the offshore islands and studied the behaviour of human visitors (see Extra Studies).


Read a Snake Doctor's Diary
(214 kb Flash 4 required)
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