Individual study: The use of sloughed black rat snake Elaphe obsoleta skins deters predation of artificial nests in nest boxes in forest near Jonesboro, Craighead County, Arkansas, USA
Medlin E.C. & Risch T.S. (2006) An experimental test of snake skin use to deter nest predation. The Condor, 108, 963-965
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Use snakeskin to deter mammalian nest predators
A randomised, replicated and controlled trial in May-June 2004 in Arkansas, USA (Medlin & Risch 2006) found that artificial great crested flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus nests placed inside 60 nest boxes were less likely to be predated if there was black rat snake Elaphe obsolete skin inside the nest box (0/20 nests predated) or both inside and outside the nest box (0/20 predated) than if there was no snake skin present (5/20 predated). Predation was mainly by southern flying squirrels Glaucomys volans. Snake skins were treated by being placed in proximity with to a live rat snake for five hours prior to installation.