snake cover board surveys and moisture

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christopher law
Posts: 19
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:24 am
Location: Southwestern Ontario

snake cover board surveys and moisture

Post by christopher law »

While I imagine the answer to my question will be species specific, I figured I would post it anyways.

When conducting cover board surveys, are you less likely to find snakes under boards where the microclimate is wet or damp?

Kindest Regards,


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Posts: 563
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:20 am

Re: snake cover board surveys and moisture

Post by regalringneck »

...and you did by my experience, answer your own ?
Here in the sw, soil moisture is very impt for virtually all amphibs & squamates, but you are correct, too much of a good thing can reduce things rapidly to various amphibs., gartersnakes, etc. & conversely, sometimes a very dry site may yield a surprise, not the norm though. Ive fd the same to be true in my formative years in s. cali , as well as a few florida & midwest meanderings too. This rapid drying of the microsite (besides taking everything : { ) why most of us h8te "our" boardlines (artificial cover) disturbed by others.
Good luck w/ your studies & hopefully post some pix.

... note the subtle moisture differences here


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Jon Wedow
Posts: 201
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 6:38 am
Location: Canada

Re: snake cover board surveys and moisture

Post by Jon Wedow »

Definitely species specific... but in general yes I don't find cover that is in wet/damp areas to produce nearly as much as pieces even a few feet higher up. Certain species seem to tolerate it though and may even prefer them at certain times of the year. Under wet or moist cover I usually find milksnakes, browns and the odd garter.

Likewise I find cover in the hot dry areas to produce equally low numbers of snakes. Soil type and drainage can be pretty important. After finding some very nice randomly placed sheets of tin I am experimented with placing cover on slopes directly between cool-wet and hot-dry areas. So far so good!

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