Herpetologist Shows Us a New Side of the West Coast’s Snakes in a Welcoming Guide

A biology professor and animal rescuer reveals the hidden wonders of the Golden State’s legless denizens in California Snakes and How to Find Them.

ON-SALE: MAY 7, 2024

BERKELEY, CALIF. — Rattlesnake wrangler and herpetologist Emily Taylor invites readers to embark on an enchanting exploration of California’s legless reptiles with her new book, California Snakes and How to Find Them. Celebrating the striking biodiversity of nearly 50 snake species inhabiting California’s diverse habitats, Taylor effortlessly guides readers on what you need to develop snake-hunting skills and cheerleads you to be persistent enough to find the snakes you seek.

In this ode to the charms of California’s snakes, Taylor dispels common misapprehensions surrounding these creatures and shares her knowledge, enthusiasm, and practical advice for both seasoned naturalists and budding snake enthusiasts. The book features profiles of diverse species, including the Common Garter, Rosy Boa, and the elusive Alameda Striped Racer. In addition to helping you learn how to find, observe, and identify the snakes around you, Taylor encourages a responsible and sustainable interaction with the world around us.

“This book is for snake lovers and snake lovers-to-be. Few animals capture our imaginations like snakes do, but their reputation is as forked as their tongues,” writes Taylor, “For many people, snakes are scary, gross, and even considered bad omens. For others, like me, snakes represent grace, beauty, and resilience—they are just as fantastic as any beasts that Harry Potter encountered in the wizarding world.”

California Snakes and How to Find Them provides critical insights on handling advice, identification guides, and addresses the myths surrounding venomous encounters, making this guide an essential resource for anyone eager to explore California’s diverse snake population. For those who dare to venture into the hidden realms of California’s serpentine wonders, Emily Taylor’s California Snakes and How to Find Them shows us a new side of our slithering friends.

Publicity Contact:

Sydney Vogl
Marketing & Membership Associate

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Emily Taylor is a professor of biological sciences at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she conducts research on the physiology, ecology, and conservation biology of lizards and snakes. A staunch advocate for improving the public image of snakes, especially rattlesnakes, Taylor is founder of the community science initiative Project RattleCam (rattlecam.org), where members of the public help her and other scientists learn about rattlesnakes by analyzing photos and livestream footage from snake dens. She is owner of Central Coast Snake Services, which helps people and snakes in California coexist safely and peacefully. She lives in Atascadero with her husband, Steve, and their menagerie of rescue animals, including Pax the dog, Baby the boa constrictor, Aperol Spritz the bearded dragon, and rattlesnakes Buzz and Snakeholio. Follow her on social media @snakeymama.