Snakes serve important purpose for ecosystem
- 1 Snakes serve important purpose for ecosystem
- 2 In Tennessee, venomous snakes serve purpose
- 3 Near record-breaking venomous snake found in Tennessee
If snakes were in a popularity contest, among all other animals, they would surely lose. Around the world, snakes are often perceived as animals to be feared or hated. Unfortunately, the reality is that most of the antipathies that surround snakes are guided by ignorance or misunderstanding. While snakes may not be the most popular animal on the planet, have you ever wondered why they might be important? Or perhaps, why they shouldn’t be killed? There are actually many good reasons to respect snakes and maybe even appreciate them!
Here are three spectacular ways that snakes are important and worthy of your respect:
1. SNAKES MAINTAIN BALANCE IN THE FOOD WEB.
Snakes play an integral role in maintaining balance in the ecosystem. In most systems, snakes can be both predator and prey. When a large prey population attracts and sustains a large snake population, those snakes become prey for birds, mammals and even other snakes! Some snakes specialize in preying on other snakes, like the kingsnake, which can prey on rattlesnakes because they are immune to rattlesnake venom. In Southeast Asia, the king cobra, the longest venomous snake in the world, is also a snake-eating specialist!
2. SNAKES ARE A NATURAL FORM OF PEST CONTROL.
As predators, snakes keep prey populations in balance. For example, rodents reproduce exponentially in the absence of predators, as long as there is plenty of food. This is particularly true in environments dominated by humans. The University of Nebraska estimates that mice cause $20 million in damage annually in Nebraska! Most people try to control these pests with chemicals which end up polluting the environment. Snakes provide an easy, environmentally friendly, free and natural pest control service.
Another example, timber rattlesnakes in the eastern U.S. eat rodents who are hosts to ticks. Those ticks are a vector for Lyme disease, which is a dangerous bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans. When the snakes reduce the rodent populations, the prevalence of Lyme disease in the environment is reduced.
3. SNAKES DESERVE OUR RESPECT AND APPRECIATION.
Snakes, while feared around the world, are also revered and celebrated in many cultures. In some societies snakes are often viewed as good fortune and in others the snake created the world. Being predators, the benefits of snakes are now being recognized as providing humans with an ecological service. However, snakes are seriously under threat. Some snake species have become threatened due to habitat destruction, urban development, disease, persecution, unsustainable trade and through the introduction of invasive species. Many snake species are endangered and some species are on the brink of extinction. As a society, we do not have to love snakes, but we can at least respect their right to exist without harm and appreciate their vital role in maintaining Earth’s biodiversity. Source
Eastern Tennessee is home to several species of venomous snakes that most would view as a scary nuisance animal. They can be dangerous, however they serve a greater purpose for our ecosystem. Snakes help to keep the rodent populations in the state at bay. The timber rattlesnake and copperhead, both of which are venomous snakes, serve an important role within the environment. Those snakes consume a variety of small rodents, especially rats and mice. They can even eat other snakes, as well as lizards and birds.
A near record-breaking copperhead snake was found in the western part of Tennessee. The snake measured at 49.5 inches long, which is just three inches shy of a world record for the species. Officials have stated that people should not be afraid to go into the woods as a snake growing to this size is rare, however, they did stress that this is the time of year when snakes are more active. With the weather turning colder, they are looking for dens.
In Tennessee, venomous snakes serve purpose
East Tennessee is home to several venomous snakes. And while chances are most Chattanooga-area residents won’t come across one, wildlife experts say it’s important to know the role they play in the ecosystem.
“Many species of wildlife aren’t given proper credit for their contributions to the environment,” said Scott Dykes, biologist for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “Just as bats eat millions of mosquitoes and crop-damaging insects, snakes help keep our rodent populations in check.” Learn more
Summary: Eastern Tennessee is home to several species of venomous snakes. They play an important role in the ecosystem by keeping rodent populations low.
Near record-breaking venomous snake found in Tennessee
A near record-breaking copperhead snake was found in Tennessee’s Hardeman County.
The venomous snake measured 49.5 inches long, just about three inches shy of the world record. Unfortunately for the snake, its life came to an untimely end.
“It darted out straight out in front of me, and I hit it,” Bub Stevens said. “I thought, ‘That looked like a snake.'” Read more
Summary: An almost record-breaking venomous copperhead snake was found in the western part of Tennessee recently. The snake was just three inches shy of a world record for the snake species.
There are four venomous snakes in Tennessee, and the copperhead is one of them, along with a water moccasin and a couple of rattlesnakes. https://t.co/YL84rS8Gx5
— WPMT FOX43 (@fox43) October 26, 2019