No Copperheads in the Pines?

Boyd

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Well I found this article dating back to 1884 about copperheads being on Staten Island.
Welcome to the forum Alan. Please do not post copyrighted material on the site. A little while ago Ben had some legal problems resulting from a user posting an old newspaper article. See this - thanks.

https://forums.njpinebarrens.com/threads/important-rule-for-this-forum.10185/

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Important Rule for this Forum
Discussion in 'Newspaper Articles' started by Ben Ruset, Sep 22, 2014.

So you may have heard, an unfortunate circumstance arose from a post in this section of the discussion forum recently. I need people to be extra vigilant about the copyright status of things they post here (and elsewhere on the site.)

If you run across a news article or something that you'd like to share, that's awesome! Please post it in this section, but only put a link to the article and maybe very short excerpt of the text or whatever your thoughts are. Please do not take any images that may be on the site you're linking to or copy too much text.
 

Ben Ruset

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I had to delete that article. While it probably falls under the Fair Use exception for copyright law, the last time someone posted an image of a newspaper article I got a cease and desist letter and had to hire an attorney to deal with it.

Feel free to transcribe it and repost it, but I don't want to have to shell out for an attorney again.
 

uuglypher

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Well, is 15 years too late to check back on a thread I started in 2005? Life and the vicissitudes of ageing do, indeed, disrail many a good intention, but this SD winter has, for some reason, engendered many recollections of my experiences in the pine barrens in my younger days and later conversations in this forum!
Good to see you are still here, Ben.
So, save for a single record of a Copperhead in Vineville...likely an escaped or released captive... there continues @n unexplained paucity/ absence of copperheads in the PBs.
Is fifteen years sufficient to resigning myself to “case closed”?

Dave
 

manumuskin

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I have wondered this myself since Copperheads live in very similar habitats to the Pines in the Carolinas.They are supposedly in Delaware according to range maps and in southeast Pa so why not here? Maybe we can rectify this? :) Just kidding, don't need the wildlife gestapo knocking on my door.
 

uuglypher

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Well, even as a lifelong secular humanist, sometimes I have to resort to TTWGWI (that’s the way God wants it)...which means the actual, rational answer continues to escape our perception. I’m suspecting that the answer to exclusion of the pine barrens from the Copperhead’s favored range may, most likely, have to do with relative population densities of several (certainly more than one) of its necessary prey species...possibly one or more small amphibian or invertebrate species that are essential to survival of the newborn copperheads that permit them to survive to recruitment into a breeding population. IMO the phenomenon of the “absent copperheads” just may be stimulus for a closer, more discriminative study of the ecological differences among the ostensibly closely similar coastal plain sandy, pine-oak-cedar biomes extending from southern NJ down to Georgia and west to East Texas. My bet is that some particularly inquisitive, energetic, and perceptive Ph.D. candidate, working with cogent advice of a capable advisory committee will, one day, provide the answer...assuming that progressive climate change does not too rapidly and asymmetrically alter the ecological factors operant in all those “coastal pinelands”.
 
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manumuskin

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I would say you may be correct if Copperheads have never been reported from South Jersey in the past which to my knowledge they have never been reported here.If they have been reported here then I"d say the fact they are no longer here probably has something to do with us maybe creating conditions that wiped out a prey species but on the other hand to the best of my knowledge Copperheads are pretty general in their predatory habits eating both cold blooded and cold blooded prey.That is the adults of course.I have no idea what the neonates eat but i would think it would be the same???
 

uuglypher

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I had two female copperheads, gravid at capture, give birth to three and five offspring, respectively. The baby copperheads ate ravenously and practically omnivorously...but just animal life...plump grubs, earthworms, red-backed salamanders, dusky salamanders, smallpickerel frogs, slugs, newborn garter snakes, small DeKay’s snake, as well as “pinky” baby mice.

I also confirmed a predator of copperheads: a freshly caught milk snake (in SE Connecticut) regurgitated a recently consumed baby copperhead. But...The pine barren-like environments in the southeast where copperheads are found also contain a goodly assortment of ophiophagous species (black racer, assorted milk snakes and king snakes, and indigo snakes...and I have the feeling I’m leaving out another one...??)

Dave
 
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Toothy Critter

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Many years ago, a military person from Fort Dix. quickly rebutted my statement that there were no copperheads in the Pines. He told me, you would not believe the things that get shipped in from other parts of the States, particularly from down south. He said snakes find their way into cargo crates that are waiting to be shipped, and then release into the cargos destinations upon arrival. Even so, the absence of a population would only suggest that even if this were true, the snakes lives are short lived for some reason. Maybe the winters are just a bit too long and cold here . That was 50 years ago he told me that, so who knows
 
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Toothy Critter

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Duh...oh yeah good point :) Now that I think about it maybe we were talking about some other poisonous snakes...hey it was 50 years ago, I remember what happened yesterday ???? I'm old now...that's my excuse :confused:
 
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old jersey girl

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I had two female copperheads, gravid at capture, give birth to three and five offspring, respectively. The baby copperheads ate ravenously and practically omnivorously...but just animal life...plump grubs, earthworms, red-backed salamanders, dusky salamanders, smallpickerel frogs, slugs, newborn garter snakes, small DeKay’s snake, as well as “pinky” baby mice.

I also confirmed a predator of copperheads: a freshly caught milk snake (in SE Connecticut) regurgitated a recently consumed baby copperhead. But...The pine barren-like environments in the southeast where copperheads are found also contain a goodly assortment of ophiophagous species (black racer, assorted milk snakes and king snakes, and indigo snakes...and I have the feeling I’m leaving out another one...??)

Dave
"ophiophagous" Another nifty new word! Thanks Dave!