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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Animal Care.

In this Badge Bit you will create snake/lizard habitat. This is useful for natural pest control.

Here are some articles and threads on it:
 - Building Snake and Lizard Habitat
 - Permaculture Rocks
 - Snakes as Pest Control
 - Support Snakes and Lizards



To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - you must make snake or lizard habitat
 - no cardboard or man-made materials involved

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, you must:
 - post a picture of a location without snake/lizard habitat
 - post a picture of that same spot now with snake/lizard habitat
COMMENTS:
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1838
Location: 4b
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This BB doesn't have a lot of detail about the size or type of habitat, but I'll show one I just built. I make two kinds of snake habitat on my land. The one that works the best is a sheet of black rubber pond liner. I leave large squares of it around my property. Every year in spring and summer, I find dozens of baby snakes under them. I always put them in sunny spots. The snakes really like heat, and spend a lot of time under the black rubber sheets.

The other habitat I build is piles of rocks. Not much to explain about building a pile of rocks. I usually use rocks that are about football sized. They are large enough so that they have fair sized gaps between them, and small enough that they can be handled fairly easily. I put cardboard down first to kill the vegetation. That may or may not be necessary, but the snakes love being under the sheets of rubber, and all vegetation dies under there, so at the very least, it doesn't dissuade them from living there.  I put some flat-ish rocks on top for basking and i make them so they are tilted slightly to the south.

If this doesn't fulfill the criteria for this BB, I build lots of them, I'll document a different one.

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Baby snake under rubber
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The area
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Cardboard
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First layer
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Rock pile
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steward
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I know Paul doesn't like cardboard, because of the toxic gick inside of cardboard. So, I'm not sure I can approve this BB. I'll bring this up to other staff's attention to see what they think, but I'm backing off, because I think this may need a ruling from Paul to set precedent.
 
Trace Oswald
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Dave Burton wrote:I know Paul doesn't like cardboard, because of the toxic gick inside of cardboard. So, I'm not sure I can approve this BB. I'll bring this up to other staff's attention to see what they think, but I'm backing off, because I think this may need a ruling from Paul to set precedent.



No worries Dave,. I make mine this way because I leave large enough gaps for small critters to get in. Those same gaps allow a rock pile to become a weedy overgrown mess pretty quickly. That said, I fully understand if people don't agree with using cardboard to do it.
 
master steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Yup - the cardboard used in this way makes it so it does not pass for a PEP BB.
 
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My son loves snakes, so we made him a snake habitat right next to his garden. It has the added benefit of also being on top of a giant rock.

Here's a side view of Big Happy Rock



We collected what rocks we could find, and added a bunch of sticks and a rotting log and moss. I also put on a reflective aluminum pan that my husband had found in a dumpster. Would it help heat things up, or is it going to be too weird for the snake?

(And, after making this, I realized I could have just posted pictures of my Herb Spiral of Randomness), which snakes love to hang out in. Here's pictures of that, as well

before


after




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Before picture of my son's snake habitat.
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After!
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Side view of the rocks
 
Nicole Alderman
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And then I read the Badge Bit a bit more carefully, and saw it specified no man-made materials. So, that answers my question about the alluminim sheet! It's now removied!
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side view
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distance shot, so you can see how close it is to my son's garden
Staff note (Mike Haasl):

I hereby certify this BB!

 
Trace Oswald
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I made another one today. I made it sort of a suntrap shape with the opening to the south. You wouldn't know by looking, but I used just over a ton of rock. After making the rock pile, I put down mulch inside the trap for a future tree planting. Out further, I put down cover crop seed and a very light mulch layer.
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Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this Badge Bit is complete!

 
Dave Burton
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This is an area to the North of my hugelkultur bed before I added rocks to make snake/lizard habitat.



This is an area to the North of my hugelkultur bed after I added rocks to make snake/lizard habitat.



This is a close-up of the snake/lizard habitat that I made.



This is a picture to demonstrate that the snake/lizard habitat that I made is relatively close to the hugelkultur that I made. I decided to build the snake/lizard habitat on the north side of my hugelkultur, because I would like for it to be out of the way of the road that goes up the Volcano on Basecamp. Since I used heavy equipment up there, I can't be sure that anyone else wouldn't just run over a pile of rocks by the road. I also want predators to have habitat, so that they will be able to protect my hugelkultur when it hopefully starts growing in the spring.

Staff note (Mike Haasl):

I hereby certify this BB complete!

 
master gardener
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Trace, are those rocks granite? The colors awesome! Did you buy them or find them?

 
Trace Oswald
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Steve Thorn wrote:Trace, are those rocks granite? The colors awesome! Did you buy them or find them?



Thanks Steve, yes, most of them are granite. I don't have a place to pick them up here so I bought these at a local place that sells gravel and different types of stone. My lady and I hand picked these. She did a lot of digging to get to some of them. We moved a lot of rock that day 😊
 
Steve Thorn
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I bet that was a lot of work!

Good to know that rock like that can be purchased if needed.
 
pollinator
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No, what I made will not be approved for this BB. I used man-made bricks/pavers to build my stacked walls. But anyway I made a habitat for all kind of critters. Inbetween the two walls there are branches and some soil (like in Hugelkultur), but there's also an empty space with an entrance at ground-level. For the 'roof' of that space I used part of an old suitcase (of woven tropical reeds) and then I covered it with branches and soil too. I planted a large rhubarb and some mint on it and threw out a mixture of seeds, so next year this will look like a green hill (I hope).
I hope at least a hedgehog will come and live here. Some toads are already there (I found them in other parts of the garden and moved them in here). Real lizards are rare in my region, but there still is a chance they'll come. Snakes won't come, the nearest-by habitat of snakes (Adder and Grass snake) is a nature reserve over 10 kilometers away from here. Toads and frogs are more likely to live in my garden, maybe even salamanders will come (a friend has them in her pond, they came by themselves).
This 'habitat' has a wet part, because the rainwater from the roof of the building flows in there. It won't become a marshland, because the underground here is all sand, water sinks away quickly.
 
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