Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

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The Jake-Man
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by The Jake-Man » September 23rd, 2012, 6:23 pm

Ugh: You can imply whatever you want about me. Everyone else can see it, and I will not sink to your pathetic level of taking stabs at people. I am 14 years old. But I'm mature. 8-)

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by Kelly Mc » September 24th, 2012, 8:21 am

Hey there Jake Man - because you are an intelligent guy, you can understand that Ugh cannot respond to your comments, as he would another member, as it would be terribly crude and unkind for an adult to do so with a very young person - even a very mature young person.

So it isnt really fair, you dig?

Also remember that some of the most important teachers that cross your path in life, may not be persons other people agree with. Its easy to jump on a bandwagon with other comrades, against the voice of one.

Wiser to listen.

Jimi
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by Jimi » September 25th, 2012, 12:30 pm

Huh. This thread has gone some good places, and the usual pissy-match places (why does it always have to?), but I see some things I'd like to highlight (especially what I've underlined):
It all comes down to funding, and in this time of economic austerity, non-game rarely gets money.

There is truth to this but...

we're talking about pretty small scale projects. I wonder if it would be possible to organize volunteers to do the tree cutting and monitoring? It would take some coordination and work. The Nature Conservancy has been pretty successfull at using volunteers to remove woody vegetation from many of their preserves.
And also this:
But many of you guys have great knowledge, and others that don't, really want to learn and help. Instead of whinning to eachother on an internet forum why don't you start making in roads with conservation groups, DEP, DNR, etc? Start building a relationship with these people, you may have to park your egoes for a bit, but if you truely love reptiles why not do it? Many of these species really need human intervention to help because we've messed things up for them so bad. Why not take all your knowledge send some emails, make some phone calls and get involved. I know most herpers like to be totally rogue, i get that its our nature, but if you truely like reptiles get out there and do something. I've seen firsthand why a couple like minded good natured folks can make a huge difference in an area. If areas need to be opened up get out there and talk to people to get it done and stop arguing here, its a total waste of time and energy.
And also this:
As much as we still don’t know about this snake, we do know a HELL OF A LOT about them. And currently that knowledge is WAY WAY ahead of our land and habitat management practices in I’d say every frickin’ state the montane TR still occurs in. And that needs to change, there’s no excuse for it at his point, IMHO. I mean some of this is really simple stuff to implement, considering how complex and fascinating the species itself is.
To which I would add, or reiterate:
- We can always play the victim and do the poor-mouth routine. In my experience in non-game wildlife management, money can be a limiting factor, but more often, the will to get yourself organized, coordinate with others, and actually DO SOMETHING is far more the limiting factor. Money matters, probably always will, but lack of money is actually not so hard to overcome once you decide what you want to do, as an organized group. And then actually DO SOMETHING. Don't use lack of money as an excuse to not do stuff. Either get it done without the money, or go raise the damn money. It's out there if you really need it and can make your case. It's out there.

- Timbers now have the benefit of having been noticed, of having attained - at least in lip service, if not yet in widespread, kinetic fact - "conservation importance" all over the northeast. That's a huge hurdle overcome. Congratulations! Now take advantage of this fact, which may not last forever.

- If you guys would get together & engage state wildlife agencies via an appropriate forum such as NEPARC, and offer your time and expertise and get some discussion going, you could probably get something really cool going (perhaps you already have, I don't know). Something to marry anecdote, science, and action - for example, a regional experimental approach to increasing litter size, frequency of reproduction, and survival rates through optimized habitat manipulation and maintenance. This would advance practical knowledge, generate some publications which academia needs to survive, perform and promote some actual good for timbers, and increase functional human relationships.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by Kelly Mc » September 25th, 2012, 9:15 pm

camerino del donnas di prima

ugh
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by ugh » September 27th, 2012, 3:00 am

incuhead2000 wrote: The poison ivy, other vines and weeds are now covering the rock piles and causing lots of shading in a few important spots where these trees were cut. Now the snakes that used to occupy one of the rocks which is now covered in vines have abandoned the area and moved to another site nearby. I'm worried about the amount of plants that have encroached in just one summer and can only imagine this will get worse with time.

Lowbush blueberry, huckleberry, ferns, even grapevine, Virginia creeper (and poison ivy) or similar non-woody ground cover( i.e. prostrate) plants typically grow so low/close to the ground that the radiant heat from direct sun can reach close enough to the snakes as to not effectively prevent optimum thermoregulating. Not to mention the conductive heat to be had from the increased surface area of all the small, sun-heated leaves of these plants the snake can lay among or on top of. Shade from a tree canopy or even mountain laurel eliminates this option for the snakes. Yes I know they sometimes crawl up in laurel but that requires a lot of precious energy and just doesn't seem preferable by the snakes. I think we can all agree these are not generally considered arboreal snakes.

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justinm
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by justinm » September 27th, 2012, 8:31 am

ugh wrote:
incuhead2000 wrote: The poison ivy, other vines and weeds are now covering the rock piles and causing lots of shading in a few important spots where these trees were cut. Now the snakes that used to occupy one of the rocks which is now covered in vines have abandoned the area and moved to another site nearby. I'm worried about the amount of plants that have encroached in just one summer and can only imagine this will get worse with time.

Blueberry, huckleberry, ferns, even grapevine, Virginia creeper (and poison ivy) or similar non-woody ground cover( i.e. prostrate) plants typically grow so low/close to the ground that the radiant heat from direct sun can reach close enough to the snakes as to not effectively prevent optimum thermoregulating. Not to mention the conductive heat to be had from the increased surface area of all the small, sun-heated leaves of these plants the snake can lay among or on top of. Shade from a tree canopy or even mountain laurel eliminates this option for the snakes. Yes I know they sometimes crawl up in laurel but that requires a lot of precious energy and just doesn't seem preferable by the snakes. I think we can all agree these are not generally considered arboreal snakes.
Ugh,

Can I see your peer reviewed paper on your findings?

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 27th, 2012, 9:02 am

justinm wrote:Can I see your peer reviewed paper on your findings?
Are you sincerely asking here Justin? If you are I could find support for Ugh's hypothesis in the literature.

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justinm
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by justinm » September 27th, 2012, 9:05 am

Isn't the nature of science to question. I'm not sure I'm onboard with the idea that Creeper, Ivy or the other low growing plants are having that much direct impact on the temperature of the ground. So I would like to see some research that proves it. Otherwise I think it's an interesting hypothesis and observation. My point being that there has to be other factors as well.

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by Bryan Hamilton » September 27th, 2012, 9:19 am

We may be reading the post differently. My interpretation was that vines and other prostrate plants can have high cover values but do not decrease substrate temperature the way taller trees and shrubs do. Do the prostrate plants actually increase the substrate temperature? I would have to look into that.

No doubt there are other factors but if you controlled for them you could figure out the importance of the plants. Plants are soooo easy to study compared to animals.

jimoo742
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by jimoo742 » September 27th, 2012, 9:23 am

I can't comment on the temperature, but one would think this low ground cover might help with some protection from avian predators.

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JakeScott
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by JakeScott » September 27th, 2012, 12:55 pm

Kyle, fantastic shot and bahavior! I'm originally from Maryland, as you know, and I've actually witnissed this in the past (before a camera gave proof to the world). C. horridus [atricaudatus], like their northern correlate, utilize fallen logs in much the same way. I find it fascinating...unlike most of this thread.

-Jake

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VanAR
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Re: Spring Timber Rattlesnakes and Forest Succession

Post by VanAR » September 27th, 2012, 3:13 pm

We may be reading the post differently. My interpretation was that vines and other prostrate plants can have high cover values but do not decrease substrate temperature the way taller trees and shrubs do.
I agree. High canopy provides an elevated boundary layer that will absorb almost all of the solar IR before it reaches the ground. Since the canopy layer is 10-20+ meters above the ground, convection and conduction will not move much of that heat down to the ground layer, but some of it will re-radiate as long-wave IR.

Prostrate plants will absorb solar IR at the same level as the snake, which would allow much more convection/conduction of heat to the snakes. In addition, the layer will be porous enough to allow some solar IR to filter down to the snake, so that they can bask in relative cover. Western diamondbacks in Arkansas do this all the time. They den in relatively exposed rocky areas that can get a ton of wind and aren't all that warm in the transitional spring/fall periods. When they emerge, they usually hide under briars amongst the rocks of the densite and get plenty of sun and but are nearly impossible to see.

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