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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Snake Question

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Offline dprather

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2018, 10:31:23 PM »
Question: why would there be more snakes in the Bend than in Utah?
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline presidio

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2018, 11:24:51 PM »
Question: why would there be more snakes in the Bend than in Utah?

A few reasons that come to mind:

a) warmer climate, especially in winter, thus longer active periods and greater opportunity to encounter
b) more prey
c) more cover (the Chihuahuan Desert is absolutely lush compared to other deserts and arid areas
d) more varied biomes and habitats; a lot of regions converge in or near Big Bend
e) water!; much of the water in Utah is in deep, relatively inaccessible canyons
f) the Chihuahuan Desert is one of the richest and most varied of plant and animal communities to be found anywhere; forests are relatively sterile by comparison
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Offline mule ears

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2018, 06:32:05 AM »
Question: why would there be more snakes in the Bend than in Utah?

A few reasons that come to mind:

a) warmer climate, especially in winter, thus longer active periods and greater opportunity to encounter
b) more prey
c) more cover (the Chihuahuan Desert is absolutely lush compared to other deserts and arid areas
d) more varied biomes and habitats; a lot of regions converge in or near Big Bend
e) water!; much of the water in Utah is in deep, relatively inaccessible canyons
f) the Chihuahuan Desert is one of the richest and most varied of plant and animal communities to be found anywhere; forests are relatively sterile by comparison

I concur, especially a and e
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline rocketman

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 08:48:36 PM »
Wouldn't a rattlesnake be able to access deep, relatively inaccessible canyons? It may be that people can't access the snakes in the canyons, which is generally a good thing but it doesn't mean there are more snakes in the Bend. Could be quite the opposite.

For the record, I am NOT a herpetologist so I am merely speculating from a layman's point of view and trying to learn. I would welcome an expert opinion on my hypothesis or a pointer to studies in this area.
Making ice cubes FROM THE SUN!!!

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Offline dprather

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2018, 10:07:32 PM »
Like rocketman, I am a layman.  I asked my question because I was puzzled.  As usual, the experts on BBC came through with thought-provoking answers.  Thanks.

It seems to this layman that a little balance might be needed.  While running across rattlers is rare, it does happen (in ten years of BB backpacking I have run across two). 

I wouldn't want anyone to be overwhelmed by irrational fears, but I wouldn't want anyone to be so unconcerned that they did not practice the great advice given by losthiker: "use your eyes, ears, and your "sixth sense" to avoid them. Don't put your hands or feet anywhere you can't see. If you get a gut feeling that says to avoid a shrub, rock, or patch of grass, avoid it."
Leave "quit" at the car.  Embrace the trail as your friend.  Expect to enjoy yourself, and to be amazed.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Snake Question
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2018, 05:48:23 AM »
Like rocketman, I am a layman.  I asked my question because I was puzzled.  As usual, the experts on BBC came through with thought-provoking answers.  Thanks.

It seems to this layman that a little balance might be needed.  While running across rattlers is rare, it does happen (in ten years of BB backpacking I have run across two). 

I wouldn't want anyone to be overwhelmed by irrational fears, but I wouldn't want anyone to be so unconcerned that they did not practice the great advice given by losthiker: "use your eyes, ears, and your "sixth sense" to avoid them. Don't put your hands or feet anywhere you can't see. If you get a gut feeling that says to avoid a shrub, rock, or patch of grass, avoid it."

This above is the important information for sure.

 Just anecdotal but having lived in and hiked in Utah, snakes have never been a real topic of discussion or concern, I think I have seen 1 rattlesnake there ever and maybe the only snake I have ever seen there.  In Big Bend I have only seen a few garter snakes, a milk snake and 1 rattler but then I have only hiked in the cool seasons too.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 05:56:55 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

 


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