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Nerodia taxispilota

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA NATRICIDAE

Scientific Name: Nerodia taxispilota
Species Authority: (Holbrook, 1842)
Common Name(s):
English Brown Watersnake, Brown Water Snake

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, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, 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 southeast of the United States. Its range encompasses the Coastal Plain from Virginia to southern Florida, and west to Alabama, and also the piedmont of the Carolinas and Georgia (Mount 1975, Tennant 1984, Mitchell 1994, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Ernst and Ernst 2003).
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 large number of occurrences (subpopulations). Palmer and Braswell (1995) mapped well over 100 collection sites in North Carolina alone. The adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. This snake is often locally common to abundant in suitable habitat (Gibbons and Dorcas 2004). No major declines have been recorded, aside from local reductions in limited portions of the range. Currently, extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This snake inhabits rivers, large creeks, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, swamps, and marshes, including brackish tidal waters in some areas; it often climbs into woody vegetation overhanging the water, and it also perches on fallen trees, jetties, duck blinds, debris or other object along shorelines (Ernst and Ernst 2003, Gibbons and Dorcas 2004). In South Carolina, it was significantly associated with the steep-banked outer bends of the river and with areas having good perch-site availability; only large individuals crossed a 100 m wide river (Mills et al. 1995).
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known. Declines may have occurred at the periphery of the range and in areas subject to intense urbanization or pollution (Gibbons and Dorcas 2004). Many watersnakes are killed by people who fear that the snakes are venomous (Mitchell 1994). However, in most areas, this species apparently faces no significant threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrrences are in protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Bartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Ernst, C.H. and Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of Eastern North America. George Mason University Press, Fairfax, Virginia. 282 pp.

Ernst, C.H. and Ernst, E.M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.

Gibbons, J.W. and Dorcas, M.E. 2004. North American Watersnakes: A Natural History. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma. xxvi + 439 pp.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Mount, R.H. 1975. The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

Tennant, A. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of Florida. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xiii + 257 pp.


Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Nerodia taxispilota. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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