Symposium to Save Humans & Cobras

Save the Snakes is working to reduce negative and often times dangerous human/snake interactions, thereby protecting humans and snakes. Our primary program focuses specifically on king cobra interactions in India, where nearly half of all snakebite deaths occur. We develop trust, educate and train local communities, and protect habitat in the Eastern Ghats.

We are ecstatic to have been invited to the very first International King Cobra Symposium in the Netherlands, which will feature experts, herpetologists, toxicologists and biologists from all over the world aimed to work together towards the preservation of this iconic species. Never before has such a prestigious line up come together to work towards snake conservation.

We seek your help to raise $3,500 to send our team of two to the Netherlands to attend the symposium, learn from the experts, network with fellow snake-conservationists and foster support and collaboration for our own snake conservation efforts.

Detailed Description:

Hi! My name is Michael Starkey and I am a wildlife biologist and co-founder of Save The Snakes. I need your help to solve a global program: 

Snakebite kills over 100,000 people each year.

The World Health Organization classifies snakebite as a neglected tropical disease as few efforts exist to reduce snakebite in developing countries.

Each year over 46,000 people die from snakebite in India, which accounts for almost half of worldwide snakebite deaths.

That's why we created Save The Snakes.

Save The Snakes works to reduce negative interactions between humans and snakes by implementing mitigation strategies which will lead to peaceful coexistence. Learn more here:

To accomplish our mission, we educate communities on the importance of snakes in ecosystems, how to coexist without conflict and how to treat snakebite situations should they occur.

We also protect snake habitat, conduct research that supports snake conservation efforts, and train local citizens to become “para-ecologists”, that manage human-snake conflicts and assist in snake conservation efforts.

We establish trust with rural communities, provide solutions that decrease human-snake conflicts and utilize indigenous local knowledge of wildlife and their ecosystems.

The beautiful Eastern Ghats of India.

We work in the Eastern Ghats, which are a discontinuous range of mountains along India's eastern coast. This vast landscape harbors an assortment of habitats and an incredible diversity of wildlife.

Rural communities in the Eastern Ghats of India are primarily poor and lack access to appropriate medical care when a snakebite occurs. The best way we can prevent this snakebite crisis is through education and awareness. 

We have big goals, but we are already seeing progress in the Eastern Ghats!

My friend and Save The Snakes Co-founder Murthy Kantimahanti presents to a group of school children about snake ecology, conservation and how to treat snakebite situations.


Save The Snakes has been invited to table at the very first International King Cobra Symposium in the Netherlands on October 7th and 8th, 2017. The Symposium will feature experts, herpetologists, toxicologists and biologists from all over the world to talk about the important issues in king cobra biology and conservation and aims to ignite cooperation of all parties as well as raise funds towards the preservation of the superior species of serpents. Never before has such a prestigious line up come together to make an important step in furthering research and protection of one of the most iconic snakes in the world.

Why is this important?

Save The Snakes participation at this event will help us connect with other long-term, successful king conservation efforts and rally support and collaboration of our own work to a large audience of wildlife conservationists and snake enthusiasts.

Therefore, I seek your help to raise $3,500 to send our team to the Netherlands so we can learn from the experts, network with fellow snake-savers and foster support for our own snake conservation efforts.

Here is what you will help fund:

- airfare from India and the USA to the Netherlands for two team members
- visa costs to enter the Netherlands from India
- accommodation in the Netherlands
- registration fees to attend the King Cobra Symposium
- any of the above $3,500 raised will go directly to our snake conservation efforts

...but SNAKES???

As Indiana Jones once said, “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”

I know... I know... but, snakes are important!

Snakes serve an integral role in the ecosystem and control rodent populations, which spread disease to humans. Humans need snakes!

However, snakes are in trouble and they need your help! Our team is working to save the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), which is the world’s longest venomous snake with recorded lengths of over 5.5 meters. They are truly amazing!

The current solution for mitigating this snakebite crisis is to indiscriminately kill snakes, including king cobras, which has contributed to the species decline. Currently king cobras are listed in Schedule II of the Indian Wildlife Act and as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This is a disaster for the environment as snakes serve an integral role in the ecosystem and control rodent populations, which spread disease to humans.

Moreover, increased habitat destruction from mining and unsustainable agriculture practices further threaten snake populations and a lack of appropriate conservation measures are in place to protect the biodiversity of the Eastern Ghats. Baseline data of king cobras in the Eastern Ghats is rudimentary, requiring further study to address this snake’s conservation needs before the current threats extirpate this iconic species from the region. There is an urgent need to work with communities to reduce conflict between humans and snakes that will protect the king cobra and aid in conserving the biodiversity of the Eastern Ghats.

However, our community-based approach is unique
in the area because we aim to mitigate immediate human-induced threats to snakes by working with all the stakeholders, while simultaneously collecting scientific data to identify, as well as prioritize, critical habitats for species conservation and conflict mitigation priorities. Therefore, by devising and implementing community initiatives and education strategies, we can discover solutions that are mutually beneficial to both human and snakes.

The long-term goal is that Save The Snakes programs in the Eastern Ghats can be replicated for implementation in other parts of the world where snakes are threatened with extinction in part due to existing conflict with humans.

Together We Can Save The Snakes!

Please contribute today to send us to the Netherlands and help us continue our work. Save The Snakes depends on the assistance of snake-loving people like you to help fund our snake conservation efforts in India and around the world.

With your help, we can prevent snakebite, protect vulnerable snake populations and promote a society that respects nature and wildlife.

Please know that all gifts will be delivered by December 2017. We will do our best to get you these items sooner, but thank you in advance for your patience. Due to our scheduled field expeditions, school presentations may not take place until Spring 2018. If you wish to become an Offical Sponsor of Save The Snakes please contact us by email for more details. Thank you for your support!

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Organizer and beneficiary

Michael G Starkey 
Gainesville, FL
Michael Starkey