Recently, a few months ago a team of scientists, a group of the explorers’ club discovery expeditions, and researchers discovered three new living underground snakes dwelling under the graveyards and churches in remote areas in the Andes part of Ecuador. It was the exploration that led to the most unexpected of places.
The snake species known as Zookeys, the team named the small brown color-patterned snakes in honor of institutions that supported the exploration and conservation of remote cloud forests in the tropics. The Atractus zgap was found in an orchard of small school in the Andean town El Chaco, Napo province, Ecuador.
A research group of scientists and Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grantee and Khamai Foundation researcher discovered a group of snakes belonging to the genus Atractus hidden under the graveyards and churches of remote Andean towns in Ecuador.
The Discovery of Ground snakes or Atractus discovery was found underground in a small graveyard. Therefore, two additional new species were also found. However, the ending of the snake’s native forest habitat may have forced them to relocate to these less crowded areas.
The discovery of Atractus was named to honor The Explorers Club Discovery Expedition Grants initiative, which was the program seeking to scientific understanding for the betterment of humanity and all life on Earth and beyond. This program supports researchers and explorers from around the world in their exploration to mitigate climate change, prevent the extinction of species and cultures, and making sure the health of the Earth and its inhabitants.
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Furthermore, the snake species Atractus zgap was named in honor of the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP), a program to conserve the endangered species and their natural habitat.
Now the Atractus michaelsabini was named in honor of Michael Sabin who is the grandson of famous American philanthropist and conservationist Andrew Sabin. Through the conservation organization Re: wild, the Sabin family has supported the field research on threatened reptiles and protected thousands of acres of critical habitat across the world.
Though the discovery of these new snake species is only the first step towards a much larger conservation project, and the team has already started the process of establishing a nature reserve to protect the ground snakes. This thing would not have been possible without first revealing the existence of this unique group of snakes and cryptic reptiles. Even if it meant disturbing the peace of the dead in the graveyard where they lived their entire life.