Friday, November 4, 2016

At The #AmphibianFoundation we are also big fans of our friends a little further up the phylogenetic tree.

 Especially, the reptiles with particularly ‘bad raps’ like Copperheads and Snapping Turtles. You know, animals that the average person loves to hate — and oftentimes — kill. Admittedly, baby Copperheads are snippy and beautiful. Luckily, copperhead venom is not very potent and deaths from copperhead bites are exceedingly rare. Most snake bites occur when someone tries to kill or harass a snake, so the best way to avoid a bite is to leave any snake you find alone. (from the SREL site) This particular hatchling Copperhead was found at The Atlanta History Center, which has recently switch from a ‘zero-tolerance’ kill policy to a translocation program initiated by The Amphibian Foundation. We will come and move your Atlanta Copperhead to a location outside the perimeter we have worked out with GA DNR. Recent studies indicate that translocating a reptile (particularly an adult) increases its chance of mortality by 70%, but compared to 100% death by getting its head cut off — we’ll take it. Copperheads, and all snakes are here for a reason! They are fulfilling an important role in our ecosystem, and they just want to be left alone so they can do it. It’s your right to kill any snake on your property, but we urge people to use our Translocation Program as an alternative to killing the snake. If you choose to exercise your right to kill snakes on your property, you then relinquish your right to complain about rodent infestations and lime disease, both of which are controlled naturally by snakes. So far, 3 of the 31 calls we have received have actually been Copperheads. The majority have been Water Snakes (Nerodia sp.) and Brown Snakes (Storeria decayi). Often we are sent pictures of these poor harmless snakes with their heads already cut off. No doubt, snakes freak people out — but they are fascinating, beautiful and provide a vital role in our urban ecosystem. If you are in Atlanta and think you have a Copperhead (or want to be sure) email us at or call 5627 RIBBIT

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