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Agkistrodon contortrix

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Agkistrodon contortrix
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Northern Copperhead

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Frost, D.R., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G.
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 ranges widely in the United States, extending into northeastern Mexico. Its geographic range extends from southern New England to northern Florida, and west through the southern Great Lakes states and southern Iowa to southeastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, western Texas in the United States, and the extreme portions of northern Coahuila and eastern Chihuahua (Conant and Collins 1991, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Campbell and Lamar 2004). Its elevational range extends from near sea level up to above 1,500 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; 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 (subpopulations) (Campbell and Lamar 2004). The adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000. Its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and number of subpopulations are probably relatively stable; population size may be slowly declining (less than 10% over 10 years or three generations).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Copperheads are often in or near deciduous forest in hilly situations, usually in the vicinity of rock outcrops; they occur also on floodplains and at the edges of swamps in the south and in mesic situations near water in the arid west. Hibernation generally occurs in dens among rocks, or in caves, animal burrows, under objects, in hollow logs or stumps, or in similar sites. Usually copperheads are in areas with abundant surface cover such as rocks, logs, stumps, or leaf-litter. They are mainly terrestrial but sometimes climb into vegetation up to a few metres above the ground. In the east at least, gravid females select rocky areas that are more open and have warmer soil temperatures than those used by non-gravid individuals (Reinert cited by Ernst 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats are known. Locally, habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation probably have resulted in declines in copperhead abundance. In Mexico, the species occurs in disjunct populations, but it occurs in areas that do not have many humans.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences of this species are in protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Barbour, R.W. 1971. Amphibians and Reptiles of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. x + 334 pp.

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

Campbell, J.A. and Lamar, W.W. 1989. The venomous reptiles of Latin America. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York.

Campbell, J.A. and Lamar, W.W. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Comstock, Ithaca, New York and London, UK.

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.

Dixon, J.R. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas. With Keys, Taxonomic Synopses, Bibliography, and Distribution Maps. Second edition. Texas A & M University Press, College Station, College Station, Texas.

Dundee, H.A. and Rossman, D.A. 1989. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ernst, C.H. 1992. Venomous Reptiles of North America. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

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.

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

Minton Jr., S.A. 1972. Amphibians and reptiles of Indiana. Indiana Academy Science Monographs 3: v + 346 pp.

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

Tennant, A. 1984. The Snakes of Texas. Texas Monthly Press, Austin, Texas. 561 pp.

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

Tennant, A. 1998. A Field Guide to Texas Snakes. Second edition. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas.

Trauth, S.E., Robison, H.W. and Plummer, M.V. 2004. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Werler, J.E. and Dixon, J.R. 2000. Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.


Citation: Frost, D.R., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G. 2007. Agkistrodon contortrix. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 August 2014.
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