Speaker Info


Michael G. Starkey is a conservation biologist, ecological consultant and public speaker working to educate and involve the public in wildlife conservation issues. Michael has a diverse background in the field of wildlife conservation and he has worked as an ecological consultant for environmental consulting firms and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. He has worked with a wide diversity of wildlife, including San Francisco gartersnakes, giant gartersnakes, California tiger salamanders, bats, ringtails and Yucatán black howler monkeys. Michael has developed and implemented community-based conservation initiatives which focused on the protection of wildlife populations in Belize, Ghana and India. Michael is a Co-Founder of Save The Snakes and serves as Executive Director. He uses his knowledge of snake ecology, positive attitude to inspire, and enthusiasm for snake conservation to engage the public with protecting these beautiful animals. Michael has given presentations around the world to inform the public about the threats facing wildlife and to help nurture a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.

Presentation Title:

Communities That Save Cobras: Current Issues Facing Snakes World-Wide and the People Who Work to Save Them

Feared and misunderstood by many, snakes are truly secretive animals. While snakes may seem mysterious, they play a vital role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem and their fascinating behavior might actually surprise you! Yet, from indiscriminate persecution to habitat destruction, snake species around the globe are under threat of extinction. So, why are snakes important? Do we really need to save the snakes? Save The Snakes Co-Founder and Executive Director Michael Starkey takes you on a journey around the world to introduce you to some incredible snake species and the dedicated individuals who are working to save them from harm. He also dispels the myths that surround snakes, explains how snake species are under threat of extinction and informs the audience about how we as a society can learn to live with, and to even love, these amazing reptiles. Founded in 2017, Save The Snakes is a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to snake conservation and human-snake conflict mitigation. Our mission is to protect threatened snake populations around the world through habitat preservation, education and community outreach to create a harmonious relationship between humans and snakes. The presentation features many of Mr. Starkey’s photos of snakes from around the world, and there will be a question and answer session following the presentation.