Kuvat / Äänet

Havainnoija

bobbyfingers

Päivämäärä

Elokuu 1998

Kuvaus

In situ. This is the best photo I have of a proud, protective mother "Hyde County Red" Pigmy Rattlesnake and her 10 - 15 day-old young. I regularly encountered this female while searching for reptiles in an area locally called "Buzzard's Roost" (nowhere near the actual place, incidentally) about 10 miles from my home in Fairfield. The site was on private land - a seasonally-filled, 2 acre duck impoundment surrounded on 3 sides by Bald Cypress wetland, and adjacent to Lake Matta-mosquito (local joke!) NWR. This particular location had an incredibly abundant population of S. miliarius - on one day with perfect weather conditions here, I observed 14 individuals of this species of all growth stages in less than two hours! I grew especially "attached" to the female pictured, as she was reliably found in the vicinity of her "favorite" stump, and I enjoyed witnessing her feeding, frequently basking, and entertaining the attentions of a large (for this species) male in mid-Spring - involving courtship and "mate-guarding" behaviors. I was deeply saddened to revisit this site 4 years after this photo was taken, to find the entire area had been completely devastated by clear-cutting for the pulp lumber industry, right up to the Refuge boundary line - and without a Pigmy to be found, despite an intensive search on my part at a perfect time of year. Apparently, the NCFWS designation of "Special Concern" wasn't actually a "concern" at all. Clear-cutting of sensitive habitat, and roadkill mortality are the most serious issues facing the herpetofauna of North Carolina, back then, through today - and most likely into its future, as well.