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Nerodia fasciata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA NATRICIDAE

Scientific Name: Nerodia fasciata
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name/s:
English Southern Watersnake, Southern Water Snake
Taxonomic Notes: Salt marsh populations that were formerly included in this species are now regarded as a distinct species, N. clarkii (Lawson 1987, Lawson et al. 1991); hybrids between clarkii and fasciata occur in disturbed areas.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor/s: Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer/s: Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the southern United States. Its range encompasses the Coastal Plain from North Carolina to southern Florida, and west to Texas, and extends north in the Mississippi Valley to southeastern Missouri and (at least formerly) southern Illinois (Conant and Collins 1991, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Phillips et al. 1999, Johnson 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003). Introduced and established in southern Texas (Werler and Dixon 2000) and in Sacramento County, California (Balfour and Stitt 2002).
Countries:
Native:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences or subpopulations. It is ubiquitous in suitable habitat throughout most of its range (Gibbons and Dorcas 2004). Werler and Dixon (2000) mapped more than 200 collection sites in Texas alone; hundreds of additional collection sites in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Arkansas were mapped by Dundee and Rossman (1989), Palmer and Braswell (1995), and Trauth et al. (2004). The adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000. This snake is locally abundant or common in much of eastern North Carolina (Palmer and Braswell 1995) and Arkansas (Trauth et al. 2004), and it is the most common watersnake in peninsular Florida (Tennant 1997). It is common to uncommon in different parts of its range in Texas (Tennant 1998). It is relatively scarce at the northern periphery of the range in Illinois (Phillips et al. 1999) and Kentucky (Barbour 1971). The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat consists primarily of vegetated freshwater ponds, lakes, marshes, wet prairies, sluggish streams and rivers, drainage ditches, and swamps, extending in some areas seawards to the edge of salt water meadows and marshes and mangrove swamps (Barbour 1971; Tennant 1997, 1998; Johnson 2000; Werler and Dixon 2000; Ernst and Ernst 2003; Trauth et al. 2004). This snake basks on banks and in edge vegetation. It shelters in bank-side burrows or under vegetative debris.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known. Locally, some populations have been reduced or eliminated as a result of drainage of wetlands or removal of aquatic vegetation (Phillips et al. 1999). Many are killed each year by people (Trauth et al. 2004), but this does not constitute a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences are in protected areas.
Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Nerodia fasciata. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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