Sunday, 4 August 2013

Why Can't the Snakes Cross the Road, Secret Lives of Baby Snakes and Other Questions

Aug. 2, 2013 — Why can't the pine snakes cross the road? Hint: New Jersey traffic might have something to do with it.

Drexel students will bring to light these and other findings about the plight, perils and peculiarities of the Northern Pine Snake in several presentations and posters at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting next week (ESA 2013), based on their research with Dr. Walt Bien's Laboratory of Pinelands Research in the New Jersey Pinelands.

Northern pine snakes are charismatic ambassadors for the Pinelands National Reserve, an ecologically important region -designated as a U.S. Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and as the first National Reserve in the United States. The pine snakes are large, nonvenomous, docile and beautiful (at least to the non-phobic).

The population in New Jersey is threatened, and the next-nearest population of northern pine snakes is in North Carolina. Protecting these snakes from the human-generated perils in the most densely populated U.S. state can go a long way toward protecting the entire ecosystem they are a part of.

Here is a closer look at some of the Drexel team's research:

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