Is this why Pine Snakes are a threatened species in the New Jersey Pine Barrens?

ARE HARVESTING SNAKES.
Novel Industry Which is Proving Profitable to New Jersey People.

Mount Holly, N.J.—Selling pine snakes is a pastime at which more money can be made than gathering moss or killing foxes. In this industry a large number of persons are engaged in the pines at Chatsworth, where is located a country club composed of wealthy residents of New York city.
The annual shipment of snakes from this district will amount to nearly 1,000 reptiles. They are secured by dealers in animals and by others who want fine specimens for pets, as a pine snake is perfectly harmless, and a good rat catcher.
One of the most extensive dealers in this peculiar line is George V. Bozarth, freeholder of Woodland township, and whenever he attends a meeting of the board in Mount Holly, his friends always anticipage a good snake story.
Nineteen reptiles secured in one afternoon were obtained by two men near Chatsworth. They averaged over five feet in length, and commanded a market price of one dollar each.

Washington Bee, 19 August 1905, p. 3

Best regards,
Jerseyman
 

swwit

Explorer
Apr 14, 2005
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A small reason why. The biggest problem is the bulldozing and developement. Once they have limited habitat they will find it hard to survive. Pine snakes are one of the most common snakes to be found in the Pine Barrens and their size makes them easy targets for illegal collecting and even cars.
 

Teegate

Administrator
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Sep 17, 2002
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A small reason why. The biggest problem is the bulldozing and developement.
I agree. But there is still quite a bit of woods out there for them to survive. Most of the dens are never even found by humans so there really is no good idea how many their are.

Thanks Jerseyman!

Guy
 

cranbrake

Scout
Jun 3, 2009
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The usual three-pronged scourge of reptile populations-habitat fragmentation(roads and other travel barriers),degradation(alerations made for development),and destruction(think bulldozers) is much less a decimating factor in such a large,mostly protected area as the pine barrens than in most places in the country.......the roads also play an increasing role in fatalities-like swwit mentioned- with all the constant traffic on them.To some extent snakes found dead on the road('d.o.r.') can probably be used as an indicator of their numbers.

So to answer your question-yes,poaching is still absolutely a factor that effects the pine snake population.Not as much as it used to be from what i gather,but it continues to this day.I can think of three instances of this I am aware of this just year I happened across-2 of them,the people just actually mentioned to me they removed them from the wild and took 'em home,apparently unaware of it's illegality(I informed them the snakes are protected and that what they did was actually against the law);the third incident,ignorance could not be claimed and the proper authorities have become involved.

Luckily there's quite a few sets of eyes and ears out there on behalf of the native wildife of the pines.Myself (and others) would be happy to take such matters into our own hands if someone's caught in the act of poaching.
 

Pines Lover

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Aug 15, 2010
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A small reason why. The biggest problem is the bulldozing and developement. Once they have limited habitat they will find it hard to survive. Pine snakes are one of the most common snakes to be found in the Pine Barrens and their size makes them easy targets for illegal collecting and even cars.

No, Pine Snake are one of the most uncommon snakes and a NJ endangered species
 

swwit

Explorer
Apr 14, 2005
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No, Pine Snake are one of the most uncommon snakes and a NJ endangered species
Incorrect. I have friends that work for the state that would tell you the same thing. They aren't protected because the are rare or hard to find. They are protected because they are all too easy to find and habitat loss is a concern. It's a "threatened" species and not endangered.
 

Pines Lover

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Aug 15, 2010
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Incorrect. I have friends that work for the state that would tell you the same thing. They aren't protected because the are rare or hard to find. They are protected because they are all too easy to find and habitat loss is a concern. It's a "threatened" species and not endangered.
In 30 years I have seen more rattle snakes than pine snakes
 

swwit

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Apr 14, 2005
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manumuskin

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Jul 20, 2003
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Pines Lover,
Pine snakes are on the "threatened" list not the endangered list.Endangered is worse.Pine snakes major concern is habitat destruction and the fact that if dens can be located then whole populations can be wiped out in a given area.
As far as more rattlers which are endangered I have only seen one (live) rattler in the pines in 30 years of exploring the pines but see pines almost every year.Of course I'm on your side when it comes to protecting them which means saving habitat and protecting den sites.
Al
 

swwit

Explorer
Apr 14, 2005
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Pines Lover,
Pine snakes are on the "threatened" list not the endangered list.Endangered is worse.Pine snakes major concern is habitat destruction and the fact that if dens can be located then whole populations can be wiped out in a given area.
As far as more rattlers which are endangered I have only seen one (live) rattler in the pines in 30 years of exploring the pines but see pines almost every year.Of course I'm on your side when it comes to protecting them which means saving habitat and protecting den sites.
Al
I agree we are all in favor of protecting them.
 

Shakieg

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Jun 19, 2011
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My son, daughter, and myself were walking a dirt trail in the pines near New Gretna. We came to a small clearing and very shortly my son said " stay back". Thank god he say the snake because without any doubt I would have stepped on it. It had it's head in a hole and was about 18". I lived in the pine barren area for most my life and have never seen one before. I hope never to see one again. I took a picture before it pulled it's head out of the hole. I know they are endangered but I still have no desire for a larger population.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
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True Joe, and snakes eat some of the carriers, not to mention the reason why this gentlemen can walk a trail down in new gretna is probably because of the woods being protected because it has pine snakes there.

When you stop seeing pine snakes it will be a day when you stop seeing the pine barrens, maybe you'll get your wish one day. These wishes have come true in some areas on the outskirts of the barrens.
 

Shakieg

New Member
Jun 19, 2011
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I sorry, I do not wish to offend anyone. I never liked snakes as I guess many do. I read in the paper just a couple of days ago of a man being bit do to his carelessness trying to remove a rTtler from the road. I was shocked at how easy it was to step on one without notice. My little girl was with me and never did I think this would happened. I sways thought the snake would rattle prior to getting this close. I know this was a mistake or lack of knowledge.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,370
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camden county
There are some misconceptions about alot of animals out there. With snakes its a big misconception. Rattlesnakes will rattle if your about to step on one, other snakes may not. Remember its a hikers responsibility to understand the risks of the ecosystem he steps into. Even with that said their has been two rattlesnake bites in the last 10 years I know of, both the result of humans messing with the animal. Most people will never see a rattlesnake in the wild in their life unless they pursue them. Stay on trails, stay out of swamps and you'll be fine. And remember corn snakes, pine snakes and timber rattlesnakes along with other animals are one of the reason we all have the pine barrens to enjoy. Without them and alot of groundwater its alot different looking then we see. Ticks bottom line are the biggest threat in the pine barrens, not snakes.
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
I had an incident a dozen years ago that still makes my breath quicken when I think of it. My daughter (9 at the time) and her mother were caring for a family's rabbits in Bamber while they were on vacation. There were two cages 4 feet above the ground, one about 20 feet from the other. My daughter was at one putting a bowl inside the open door. My wife was at the other one and when she turned to look at my daughter, she noticed a large timber rattler coiled on the ground directly beneath the cage my daughter was at. It was only a foot or so from my daughter's legs, and she had shorts on.

She quietly and firmly told my daughter to move away from the cage. She did, and the rattler did not move, nor did it ever rattle. I think it did not feel threatened in any way.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
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Little Egg Harbor
I have found myself defending snakes, both rare and common species, as well as other wildlife, quite often in my career. While the reasons I give for protecting these species are quite valid I always detest having to do so. Does a species have to have its value to the environment or to humans proven in order for it to have its right to exist justified? God, Mother Nature, Darwinism or whatever you place your faith in put these species on our planet. What makes any of us wise enough to have the arrogance to have a better idea?
 
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