March in Oregon

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Hadar
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March in Oregon

Post by Hadar » March 16th, 2015, 8:29 pm

April showers bring May flowers but what does March in Oregon bring? Apparently crazy weather with 30 degree fluctuations and with that, lots of herps when the sun comes out to play.

I started my weekend with Matt at the West Eugene Wetlands where we saw 6 long-toed salamanders, a tangled ball of 6 or more juvenile red-spotted gartersnakes, and one large pacific gopher snake. Although the garters were skittish and didn't want to be held, the gopher snake was very tolerant. We noticed several scars along the snake's body. Any ideas of what type of predator would have caused these?

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Next, I met up with Richard and Gregory for some sharp-tailed snake and boa action. Despite the strange hour and non-ideal weather, we found one juvenile sharp-tailed snake. While looking for more we uncovered a juvenile northwestern gartersnake, a ragged looking southern alligator lizard and a curious western fence lizard. The western fence lizard crawled up my sleeve and hung out on my shoulder until we decided to head out for boas, then I scooped him off and put him on a pile of rocks inches away from where I discovered him.

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The boas didn't let us down. In one stop we uncovered four active adults. All that in 1-2 hours.

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Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: March in Oregon

Post by Richard F. Hoyer » March 16th, 2015, 8:51 pm

Heather:
The size of the scar would indicate that when injured, the wound was much, much larger. That in turn tends to rule out such a wound being causes by either a predator nor an antagonist (ground squirrel) but more likely caused by some mechanical means, farm implement, bike, wacked by a stick, etc.

uglyelf
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Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: March in Oregon

Post by uglyelf » March 17th, 2015, 10:17 am

Your pictures are THE BEST!

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Hadar
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Re: March in Oregon

Post by Hadar » March 17th, 2015, 5:05 pm

Richard F. Hoyer wrote:Heather:
The size of the scar would indicate that when injured, the wound was much, much larger. That in turn tends to rule out such a wound being causes by either a predator nor an antagonist (ground squirrel) but more likely caused by some mechanical means, farm implement, bike, wacked by a stick, etc.

Richard, there were several of those scars on the gopher snake. Whatever it was, it caused some serious damage back then but this snake overcame it.

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Hadar
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Re: March in Oregon

Post by Hadar » March 17th, 2015, 5:06 pm

uglyelf wrote:Your pictures are THE BEST!
Thanks Gregory! Looking forward to herping with you again.

FrogO_Oeyes
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Re: March in Oregon

Post by FrogO_Oeyes » March 17th, 2015, 10:21 pm

I've seen similar scars in snakes which had been trapped in erosion-control netting.

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AndyO'Connor
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Re: March in Oregon

Post by AndyO'Connor » March 18th, 2015, 11:03 pm

I'm thinking lawn mower, or field tiller? something that rotates and would have hit the snake several times quickly? Nice finds. More than I've seen up here.

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