Understanding the Distribution of Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtles

Alligator snapping turtles are one of, if not the, most impressive reptile species native to the southeastern United States. Adults can reach weights easily exceeding 100 pounds and shell lengths in excess of two and a half feet. A true leviathan when living in relatively small water bodies that characterize much of the eastern portion […]

Diamonds in the Rough: Are Populations of Elusive Ribbonsnakes Hiding in Plain Sight?

As a kid back in the 1990s I was absolutely positive I had both Common Gartersnakes and Eastern Ribbonsnakes slithering around in the fields behind my house, but today I chalk that up to some shotty use of a field guide on my part. Gartersnakes are widespread in Vermont and the only species of snake […]

The Status of Ophidiomycosis (Snake Fungal Disease) in Georgia and Beyond

Wildlife diseases have become increasingly prevalent over the last several decades. Chytrid fungus has been linked to dramatic population declines and extinctions in numerous amphibian species, and white nose syndrome has decimated many bat populations in the eastern U.S. Since originally implicated in the decline of a Timber Rattlesnake population (Clark et al. 2011), there […]

Elusive Wood Turtles

“I’ve lived here my whole life and if there were orange-legged turtles crawling around on my farm I’d know about it”. We’ve heard iterations of that line several times now, and perhaps my favorite followup quote, uttered moments after finding two Wood Turtles near the farm’s river ford, went something like “I’ll be dipped in […]

Cottonmouth in typical ambush position near the edge of a drift fence – Houston Chandler

The Cottonmouth Myth

There may not be another animal on the planet that receives as much unfounded descriptions of aggression and viciousness as the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). It seems that almost everyone in the south has some type of cottonmouth story, whether a first-hand account or a story passed along by a family member or friend. The one […]