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Old 08-01-2010, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default Snakes, Bikes, and Habitat

Snakes, Bikes, and Habitat-view2.jpg
Here you can see some nice snake habitat in MO. Rocky ledges provide hiding places in the hills, while meadows provide easily borrowed soil and food, and ample bodies of standing, (mostly) fishless waters provide lots of amphibian habitat where water snakes patrol.

Snakes, Bikes, and Habitat-view1.jpg
View from the hills


Still, no place escapes the effects of man. Along the paths, hiding in the clumps of mown grass, snakes are sometimes squashed (presumably by bikers). I don't want to disturb anyone with the photos, so I'll just show a live red bellied snake found under such circumstances.
Snakes, Bikes, and Habitat-rbs1.jpg

Example clump of grass these small snakes sometimes hide under.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:23 AM   #2
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Wild animals that take advantage of man-made environments are always at risk. Here in PA rat snakes and asphalt roads are a deadly combination. Land managers do need to ask themselves if a land management activity (e.g. mowing) is really necessary, and whether such management activity will encourage environmentally destructive activities such as dirt-biking.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:30 AM   #3
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I'm dealing with trying to not harm the Leopard Frogs and American Toads that have taken up residence in my lawn that I let get too long during July. When I started mowing a few days ago, there were Leopard Frogs jumping in every direction. I must have seen 3 or 4 dozen in the course of doing most of the lawn. The Leopard Frogs seem to be pretty good at staying out of the way, but I had to stop a few times to move Toads out of the way.

Happily, I couldn't find any casualties after mowing.

I live across the street from a marsh, maybe 100 yards away, and the frogs and toads end up in my yard every year, but this has been a very wet year, so they are ranging further afield in larger numbers than normal, apparently. They seem to not be bothered much by having to cross a moderately busy 2-lane road to get to my yard.

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