Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Roundup: The Week's Wildlife Links (September 12th, 2014)

This turtle CPR also got some coverage on The Dodo.

I've been asked for my comment on a few different news/research stories lately. For example, here I am in National Geographic: Do female turtles "talk" to their hatchlings? And again for: Fish and eels team up to go hunting together. Finally, breaking news: About that Boa constrictor that bit a Nicki Minaj back-up dancer...

In cat news:

Mountain Lion spotted carrying away dog in California. In other news, a recent study of leopards in India suggests dogs are the most common prey item. I could use some big cats around my condo.

Already this year, 17 Florida Panthers have been killed on roads. Roads are a big threat to leopards in India, too.

On to Crocs:

First ever documented American Crocodile attack occurs in USA. Attempts to capture and relocate the animal, known as Pancho, result in the animal's death.

It's hard to catch crocodiles in Australia too. Here's one basking on top of a trap, instead of in it.

Why an open season on Australian crocs is not the answer to attacks on people there.

Rare Siamese Crocodiles released (this is an actual species, not conjoined animals).

Florida alligator nabs a pitbull.

Remember that huge Alabama alligator from a few weeks ago? It's officially a record. Here's how they captured and killed it.

To the ocean:

We instituted conservation measures so that sharks could bounce back, some have. Now how do we share the beach?

In other news:

Usually reports of cobras on the loose in the USA are actually harmless native species. Not this time. Update: they caught the albino beast. Second Update: It's not albino.

100 years ago, the Passenger Pigeon went extinct, a fate one of its parasites escaped.

What would a flock of those Passenger Pigeons look like, anyway?

Zoo to destroy native habitat of one species to recreate native habitat of another species.

This solar plant is lighting birds on fire.

There was once a serious plan to introduce hippos to the USA.

You can learn about Wartsnakes here.

Turns out this Australian turtle isn't extinct after all.

It takes a village: 5,000 to be relocated to make way for crane conservation in China.

Why you can't bribe farmers to stop shooting predators.

Has the Endangered Species Act just been hobbled? What are the implications for our rare species?

Rarest animals find refuge on tribal lands.

Alberta caribou habitat is destroyed beyond repair.

Ocasional visitor to California, Oregon wolf has pups.

Awesome Polar Bear pictures.

Can half the planet be set aside for conservation?

Did I miss something interesting? Let me know below.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Readers Write In: 'Tis the Season For Baby Snakes, What Are They?

I'm enclosing photos of a baby snake and an uncovered nest of snake eggs. I hope you can easily identify the snake from my photos. 

I live in [redacted] The nest of 
eggs was about 1 or 2 inches below the ground. I uncovered the eggs while digging up weeds in my back yard on July 31, 2014. There was a total of 22 eggs. Thinking it must be turtles or snakes, I opened one egg and my worst fears were confirmed. Baby more than 10 feet from our rear deck.

I took the snake to our local garden store and at least 6 men told me it was a timber rattlesnake, not yet fully developed. Please identify this snake.

[name and location redacted]

Reminder: As I describe here, your e-mails to me may appear in future blog posts. If you do not consent, please note that in your initial e-mail.

Hello Dr. Steen. You helped me with a snake ID almost exactly two years ago and I am happy to say I haven't seen another snake in my yard since then...until today. I was wondering if you could help me again. My cat brought a baby snake home today. I've attached a picture. It is generally grey in color. It's probably (guessing here) 8-9 inches or so. I put it in a jar for now. The jar is like a spaghetti sauce size jar if that helps the perspective. Someone who saw my picture said it looked like a corn snake. I live in western KY (Greenville KY). Thank you very much! 

Lynette L.
Greeneville, Kentucky


(This snake is from a friend's house) just east of Garland, Tx 
in an urban development around eight years old. Their house does not sit near any bodies of water so I doubt it is a species of water snake. The area is former farm/ranch land comprised of fields and scattered woods. That's the only photo they took and of course it was done with a phone so not hi-def.

The main point of contention is whether or not it was venomous. The body shape and coloration does not fit any of the usual suspects as best I could tell, but I'm no herpetologist. Can you identify it from this photo?

Frank I.
Garland, Texas

I live in Middle Tennessee and a friend of mine caught this snake. They want me to look after it for them while they are gone. The only problem is, we don’t quite know what kind it is. I have a Corn snake and at first thought it might be another color variant but now that I have it I’m not so sure. I am now more leaning toward brown water snake or rat snake. I want to make sure we get the right habitat for it and the right diet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Cassandra R.C.

Hello David I need your help. I caught a snake in my house by accident today and I have no clue what kind he is. I don't know if he is poisonous or how he even got in my house. ( I think he came in a hole the mouse I've been at war with made) I do t have any picture of the head because he got stuck on a mouse trap. I have a dog in the house who likes to chase things and I am now worried not only for my safety but for hers. I live in Louisiana, but more in the city.


Readers: What Are These Snakes?

Snake Identification Post Ground Rules

-Guesses are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry if you're not an expert, wrong guesses allow us to talk about how to distinguish between the various species and that's why I run these posts.

-If you can't explain why you think a snake is a particular species, go ahead and just say what you think it is. But otherwise please do let us all know how you identified the animal. If you're wrong, we can explain why. If you're right, this helps everyone learn how to identify snakes, which is the goal of these posts.

-You can safely assume that I know what kind of snake is in the picture, I run these posts because they are outreach opportunities. Please don't send me private e-mails with your guesses, include them below.

-Remember, the person that sent me the picture is probably reading your comments. Although it is frustrating to know that many of these snakes have been killed, these people do want to learn more about them. More snake knowledge will lead to fewer snakes being killed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Roundup: The Week's Wildlife Links (August 22nd, 2014)

The waters off of NYC are full of whales and sharks. Here, a Humpback whale breaches in front of the NY skyline.

Great read on how wildlife hybrids are becoming more common as our natural landscapes change.

Entire new town planned for construction in Florida Panther habitat.

Scientists suggest ending trophy fishing of threatened species. Background information on the topic from one of the authors.

In Peru's Blood Festival, it's a condor vs. a bull.

Invasive Cuban Treefrogs are creeping up Florida.

Did I miss something interesting? Let me know below.


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