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Local Professor writes guide book for Snake Road

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Snake Road Book PKG

UNION CO., IL (WSIL) -- Warm temperatures mean a popular wildlife destination is about to begin crawling with snakes.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity right in our back yard," states Joshua Vossler, an Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Snake Road in the LaRue Pine Hills Research Natural Area is officially closed to vehicle traffic for the biannual snake migration.

"The closures, I cannot emphasize strongly enough, how vulnerable snakes are especially larger snakes like the native Timber Rattle Snake," says Vossler.

While the road is closed to vehicles foot traffic is welcome and Vossler has just what you need to fully enjoy the abundance of wildlife.

"The big inspiration for the book was that when I first discovered snake road, I didn't know what I was looking at," explains Vossler.

Vossler has spent the last 4 years writing his own guide book to help people take advantage of what Snake Road has to offer. "It occurred to me, boy there's a lot of interest in Snake Road. There's a big gap. People want to know more about Snake Road and the animals that live there but most of the existing material is intended for professional PHD level herpetologists."

According to the Forest Service 35 different species of snakes are known to live in the research area.

"I wanted people to be able to look at what they're seeing and have a way to have a good idea of what that is. How to learn more about it and how to appreciate the area safely, comfortably and have the best possible experience they can have," says Vossler.

Snake Road will remain closed until May 15th and if you're interested in exploring the area, Vossler's Guide Book is available to purchase here. For rules and regulations while exploring Snake Road click here.

Jacie Brianne

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