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Education

Education
The results of our research need to be accessible to the public, in a comprehensible language and through their involvement and contribution. That is exactly what we do through our education programm. It aims contribution to the better understanding of the biology of amphibians and reptiles and of the ecology of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in general.

The way amphibians and reptiles are seen by the Albanians changed over the years due to continuous efforts made on education. Making them see these animals, especially snakes, as very important part of the ecosystem was not an easy task. We have found the presence in folklore of many tails and legends involving snakes as beasts and killing animals, while in reality there are just 3 specimens of venomous snakes which never attack humans if not felt threatened by their presence, and 2 semi-venomous snakes which could not inject their venom if the prey is not swallowed. This popular perception threatened the populations of snakes because they were killed when seen by the humans. Lectures held on the ecological importance of snakes in the nature, especially their contribution into keeping in control the population of rodents like mice and rats which cause enormous damages in crops and other agriculture cultures, as well as vectors of some diseases, gave a contribution into the way they are seen nowadays.

Members and researchers of the Herpetofauna Albanian Society regularly visited schools, universities, communities and hotels giving lectures about the amphibians and reptiles living in Albania. Starting from February 26 th 2016, we opened the Patok Sea Turtle Research and First Aid Center, the first centre dedicated to research and education on marine environment in Albania. Since then, the Patok Sea Turtle Center became the place where majority of the HAS’s education activities take place.

Sea turtle day celebration is a tradition which continues since 2010 and covers all ages, backgrounds and interest groups.