Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Snakes in a Forest

P091312_2029.jpg by P_Linehan
P091312_2029.jpg, a photo by P_Linehan on Flickr.

Last Thursday the forestry club attended the Cumberland Woodland Owners Association meeting in Carlisle. The topic was timber rattlers in the Pennsylvania forests. Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Wildlife Biologist, Aura Stauffer, and Forester, Mike Wright discussed research work to find out how many snakes are left and what they need to survive. Timber rattlers are surprisingly gentle and fragile. They need a good hibernacula for the winter and an undisturbed habitat. They are great at controlling the populations of rodents, which can carry diseases, in the forest. We also got to meet this young rattler, who made himself heard throughout the presentation. I sat next to Andy Reed, who was a little skeptical about rattlers at first, but seemed to warm up towards them a little, by the end of the evening!

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