Phoenix Herpetological Society teaches Sonoran Desert safety

Classes to help teach residents how to "Learn to Live with the Desert" will be presented by PHS March 25 and April 4. (Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Herpetological Society)

Classes to help teach residents how to “Learn to Live with the Desert” will be presented by PHS March 25 and April 4. (Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Herpetological Society)

Arizonans have a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty and diversity of the Desert Southwest up close nearly year round — but what do you do when you encounter a snake, Gila monster, scorpion or a rare Desert Tortoise?

The Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) is offering workshops for individuals, businesses and homeowner associations to learn how to safely live in and with the Sonoran Desert.

Workshops for individuals will be held at Phoenix Herpetological Society’s sanctuary in north Scottsdale; sessions for businesses and organizations can be conducted across the Valley

The one-hour seminars will cover:

  • Desert wildlife identification, including native venomous reptiles (rattlesnakes, Gila monsters), other venomous creatures (spiders, scorpions) and non-venomous wildlife.
  • Conservation and the importance of coexisting with the natural world.
  • Tips for keeping wildlife out of your house, such as securing your yard and fence from unwanted guests using affordable and effective materials, helpful hints for property maintenance, and resources for continued safety such as rattlesnake removal.

After the seminar, there will be a 30-minute question-and-answer period with the presenter.

Sessions are scheduled for individuals 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, and  9 a.m. Saturday, April 4. Cost per person is $20.

PHS also will provide special workshops for groups such businesses and HOAs. The fee for these sessions is $300 and includes resource materials for participants and live animal demonstrations. Organizations can include as many participants as they would like for these workshops.

PHS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and all funds generated from these seminars will go directly to care for the more than 1700 animals at the PHS sanctuary.

To register for the workshops for individuals, or to schedule a seminar for an organization, email or call 480-513-4377, Ext. 3.

For more information about the Phoenix Herpetological Society, go to

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