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Presented in collaboration with the Salisbury Association Land Trust


Already gone from two New England states, the timber rattlesnake is endangered in all others. Conservation efforts, new understanding of the snakes remarkable behaviors and survival strategies, and a look at the current state of knowledge of this reptile are highlighted. The presentation will illuminate new technologies that have altered our historic and inaccurate understanding of these animals and how modern efforts to record survival strategies of timber rattlesnakes will help us better understand this uniquely American specie


Tom Tyning is a Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College since 1999. Previously he was a Field Biologist and Master Naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society for 24 years. He served for 15 years as an Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Antioch New England Graduate School, Springfield College, and MCLA.

An authority on New England natural history his main research interests are amphibians and reptiles. He is the author of  A Guide To Amphibians and Reptiles.  Tyning was formerly Managing Editor of the journal Herpetological Review.  

Throughout the year he conducts various short and long-term field research projects on vernal pools, rare salamanders, Berkshire butterfly populations, and endangered snake species in Western Massachusetts. He was instrumental in jump-starting the installation of Salamander Tunnels in Amherst (MA) and the Massachusetts Herpetological Atlas through Mass Audubon. Tom received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees  from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), where he focused on the biology and conservation of the timber rattlesnake.

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