Scaly and slimy creatures featured at Oct. 13 event in Sycamore

Lake Erie water snake (Photo by Kristin Stanford)

Staff Report

SYCAMORE, Ill. — Join the Midwest Museum of Natural History from 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, for a presentation by Dr. Richard King of Northern Illinois University about scaly and slimy creatures.

Cost is $5 per person for museum members, seniors and students, and $7 per person for non-members. Tour the museum before the lecture; doors will open at 6 p.m. No registration is required.

Dr. King has a long history of working to understand and conserve reptiles and amphibians throughout the Midwest. His projects cover a lot of ground and include research on garter snake color patterns, captive breeding of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, habitat restoration and amphibian reintroduction, and Blanding’s turtle recovery planning.

In addition to his recent projects, Dr. King will focus on the work he has done on conservation biology of the Lake Erie water snake, a species with a comeback story that has a happy ending.

Ken Salazar, secretary of the Interior, explained: “The Lake Erie Water snake has joined species such as the bald eagle, the American alligator and the peregrine falcon that have rebounded from the threat of extinction and no longer require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. These species, and the hundreds of others whose extinction has been prevented by the act, are living testimonies to its ability to bring species back from the brink by protecting them and conserving and restoring their habitat.”

The Oct. 13 program is designed for ages high school to adult. All proceeds benefit the museum.

The Midwest Museum of Natural History is at 425 W. State St., Sycamore, Ill. Call (815) 895-9777 or visit

From the Oct. 12-18, 2011, issue

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