Study

Watersnake eden: use of stormwater retention ponds by mangrove salt marsh snakes (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda) in urban Florida

  • Published source details Ackley J.W. & Meylan P.A. (2010) Watersnake eden: use of stormwater retention ponds by mangrove salt marsh snakes (Nerodia clarkii compressicauda) in urban Florida. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 5, 17-22.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Manage vegetation using herbicides

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Create or restore ponds

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Manage vegetation using herbicides

    A before-and-after study in 2006–2007 in two connected stormwater run-off ponds in Florida, USA (Ackley et al. 2010) found that after glyphosate herbicide was applied in summer to remove ground vegetation, fewer mangrove salt marsh snakes Nerodia clarkia compressicauda tended to be recorded in the autumn. Results were not statistically tested. In the autumn after glyphosate herbicide was applied to pond vegetation, mangrove salt marsh snake abundance was estimated as 47 snakes, compared to 95 snakes in spring immediately before herbicide was applied, 94 snakes in the summer while herbicide was being applied and 33 snakes in the spring of the year prior to herbicide being applied. Two man-made ponds (0.2–0.4 ha) were treated with glyphosate herbicide (‘Aquamaster’) monthly during summer 2007 (exact start date not known). Salt marsh snakes were monitored at night for three nights at a time in April 2006 (spring), March–April 2007 (spring), May–July 2007 (summer) and August–October 2007 (autumn). Snakes were caught by hand, individually marked with PIT tags and released. Snakes >40 cm long were used to calculate abundance.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Create or restore ponds

    A study in 2006–2007 in two artificial ponds in Florida, USA (Ackley & Meylan 2010) found that both ponds were occupied  mangrove salt marsh snakes Nerodia clarkia compressicauda, though the number of snakes may have decreased following herbicide application to ponds. In spring 2006, it was estimated that there were 33 mangrove salt marsh snakes in the artificial ponds and in spring 2007 there were 95 snakes. In summer 2007, while glyphosate herbicide was being applied to the pond vegetation, there were 94 snakes, but numbers were estimated at 47 snakes that autumn. Two artificial ponds (0.17–0.43 ha) were created to collect stormwater run-off in 1996 and 2004. Both ponds were treated with glyphosate herbicide (‘Aquamaster’) monthly during summer 2007 (exact start date not known). Salt marsh snakes were monitored at night for three nights at a time in April 2006 (spring), March–April 2007 (spring), May–July 2007 (summer) and August–October 2007 (autumn). Snakes were caught by hand, individually marked with PIT tags and released. Snakes >40 cm long were included in the calculation of abundance.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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