|Scientific Name:||Agkistrodon piscivorus|
|Species Authority:||(Lacepede, 1789)|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Reviewer(s):||Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)|
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.
|Range Description:||This species is endemic to the United States. It range extends from southeastern Virginia (near junction of Appomattox and James rivers) to southern Florida, west to central Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and southeastern Kansas (Triplett, 1991, Herpetological Review 22: 135), and north in the middle Mississippi River drainage to southern Illinois (Mitchell 1994, Phillips et al. 1999, Werler and Dixon 2000, Minton 2001, Campbell and Lamar 2004).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations) (e.g., see dot maps of collection sites in Dundee and Rossman 1989, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Werler and Dixon 2000, Campbell and Lamar 2004, and Trauth et al. 2004). The adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. This snake is common in many parts of its large range. Population trends are undocumented, but its 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. Locally, declines have occurred with habitat loss and degradation. For example, in Virginia, this species decreased in abundance in the 1980s and 1990s (Blem and Blem 1995), and it has been extirpated from some localities (Mitchell 1994). However, cottonmouths remain locally common in even in regions where some declines have occurred.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||This snake occurs in a wide range of aquatic and wetland habitats: swamps, sloughs, delta bayous, bayheads, ponds and streams in pine flatwoods, pine-palmetto forest, offshore keys, marshes, river bottoms, lowland floodplains, tidal stream courses, dune and beach areas, clear upland brooks, drainage ditches in some southern cities, brackish waters, and sometimes salt marshes (Ernst and Ernst 2003, Campbell and Lamar 2004). Cottonmouths may aggregate under waterbird rookeries. Hibernation sites include rocky wooded hillsides, in crayfish burrows, under rotting stumps or other cover, or in burrows of mammals (e.g., beavers, muskrats) or tortoises.|
|Major Threat(s):||From a range-wide perspective, no major threats are known. Locally, threats include wetland drainage for agriculture, residential and commercial development, and forestry, and disturbance and direct killing by humans (Blem and Blem 1995).|
|Conservation Actions:||Many occurrences are protected in state parks, national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests.|
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. 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:||Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Agkistrodon piscivorus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 April 2015.|