REPTILES, AMPHIBIANS, ETC. F-1   Alligators             Allan R. Woodward and Dennis N. David F-7   Crayfish              ...
Allan R. WoodwardAlligator Research BiologistFlorida Game and Fresh Water Fish                                            ...
Range                                         fish and turtles comprise most of the         her hatchlings against intrude...
Alligators quickly become conditioned       larity of appearance” to other              alligator attacks in Florida, desp...
traps can be modified as floating sets.                                                       INSERT      A variation of t...
a                                                     Base                                        snares (sizes No. 2 and ...
Acknowledgments                                                                                              We thank Will...
James F. FowlerWildlife SpecialistLouisiana Cooperative                                          CRAYFISH  Extension Servi...
Crayfish are economically important in     Damage Prevention and                      Trapping      a number of states for...
Paul E. MolerWildlife BiologistFlorida Game and Fresh Water Fish                                              FROGS AND TO...
Identification                              mice, and small birds. In natural habi-      tions of the west has seriously a...
ern Florida, extreme southern Texas)        Caution: traps may capture other non-       Acknowledgmentsor Colorado River t...
James L. ByfordProfessor and DeanSchool of Agriculture and                                                      SALAMANDER...
Range                                                                                  Fumigants                          ...
James L. ByfordProfessor and DeanSchool of Agriculture and                                                    NONPOISONOUS...
Identification       Of the many kinds of snakes found in       the United States, only the following                     ...
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Reptile capture
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

Reptile capture


Published on

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Reptile capture

  1. 1. REPTILES, AMPHIBIANS, ETC. F-1 Alligators Allan R. Woodward and Dennis N. David F-7 Crayfish James F. Fowler, Wendell Lorio, and Greg Lutz F-9 Frogs and Toads Paul E. MolerF-13 Salamanders James L. ByfordF-15 Snakes, Nonpoisonous James L. ByfordF-21 Rattlesnakes Walter E. HowardF-27 Turtles James F. Fowler and Jimmy L. Avery
  2. 2. Allan R. WoodwardAlligator Research BiologistFlorida Game and Fresh Water Fish ALLIGATORS CommissionGainesville, Florida 32601Dennis N. DavidAlligator Management Section LeaderFlorida Game and Fresh Water Fish CommissionGainesville, Florida 32601Fig. 1. American alligator,Alligator mississippiensisDamage Prevention and Toxicants IdentificationControl Methods None are registered. The American alligator (AlligatorExclusion Fumigants mississippiensis, Fig. 1) is the most com- mon of two crocodilians native to theBulkheads along edges of lakes and None are registered. United States and is one of 22 crocodil- waterways. Trapping ian species worldwide. The otherWire mesh fences. native crocodilian is the American Baited hooks and trip-snare traps are crocodile (Crocodylus acutus). CaimansHabitat Modification most effective. (Caiman spp.), imported from CentralMinimize emergent vegetation. Shooting and South America, are occasionally released in the United States and canDrain ponds and borrow pits where Hunt during the day or night with survive and reproduce in Florida. The appropriate and permitted. rifles or crossbows. American alligator is distinguishedFrightening Other Methods from the American crocodile and caiman by its more rounded snout andProdding or other harassment can Hunt with detachable-head harpoons black and yellow-white coloration. increase wariness. or handheld, breakaway pole American crocodiles and caimans are snares.Hunting pressure increases wariness olive-brown in color and have more and avoidance of people. Capture with snatch hooks or tongs. pointed snouts. American alligators and crocodiles are similar in physicalRepellents size, whereas caimans are 40% smaller.None are registered. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994 Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control F-1 Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee
  3. 3. Range fish and turtles comprise most of the her hatchlings against intruders and diet. Recent studies in Florida and stay with them for up to 1 year, but The American alligator is found in Louisiana indicate that cannibalism is gradually loses her affinity for them as wetlands throughout the coastal plain common among alligators. Alligators the next breeding season approaches. of the southeastern United States. readily take domestic dogs and cats. In Viable alligator populations are found Growth rates of alligators are variable rural areas, larger alligators take in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisi- and dependent on diet, temperature, calves, foals, goats, hogs, domestic ana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and sex. Alligators take 7 to 10 years to waterfowl, and occasionally, full- Georgia, South Carolina, and North reach 6 feet (1.8 m) in Louisiana, 9 to grown cattle and horses. Carolina. The northern range is limited 14 years in Florida, and up to 16 years by low winter temperatures. Alligators in North Carolina. When maintained are rarely found south of the Rio General Biology, on farms under ideal temperature and Grande drainage. Alligators prefer Reproduction, and nutrition, alligators can reach a length fresh water but also inhabit brackish Behavior of 6 feet (1.8 m) in 3 years. water and occasionally venture into Alligators are not normally aggressive salt water. American crocodiles are Alligators are ectothermic — they rely toward humans, but aberrant behavior scarce and, in the United States, are on external sources of heat to maintain occasionally occurs. Alligators can and only found in the warmer coastal body temperature. They are most will attack humans and cause serious waters of Florida, south of Tampa and active at warmer temperatures and injury or death. Most attacks are char- Miami. Caimans rarely survive win- prefer 82o to 92o F (28o to 33o C). They acterized by a single bite and release ters north of central Florida and repro- stop feeding when ambient tempera- with resulting puncture wounds. duce only in southernmost Florida. ture drops below 70o F (21o C) and Single bites are usually made by become dormant below 55o F (13o C). smaller alligators (less than 8 feet [2.4 Habitat Alligators are among the largest ani- m]) and result in an immediate release, mals in North America. Males can possibly because they were unsure of Alligators can be found in almost any attain a size of more than 14 feet (4.3 their intended prey. One-third of the type of fresh water, but population m) and 1,000 pounds (473 kg). Females attacks, however, involve repeated densities are greatest in wetlands with can exceed 10 feet (3.1 m) and 250 bites, major injury, and sometimes an abundant food supply and adjacent pounds (116 kg). Alligators of both death. Serious and repeated attacks are marsh habitat for nesting. In Texas, sexes become sexually mature when normally made by alligators greater Louisiana, and South Carolina, the they attain a length of 6 to 7 feet (1.8 to than 8 feet in length and are most highest densities are found in highly 2.1 m), but their full reproductive likely the result of chase and feeding productive coastal impoundments. In capacity is not realized until females behavior. Unprovoked attacks by alli- Florida, highest densities occur in and males are at least 7 feet (2.1 m) gators smaller than 5 feet (1.5 m) in nutrient-enriched lakes and marshes. and 8 feet (2.4 m) long, respectively. length are rare. Coastal and inland marshes maintain the highest alligator densities in Geor- Alligators begin courtship in April Contrary to popular belief, few attacks gia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Alliga- throughout most of their range and can be attributed to wounded or terri- tors commonly inhabit urban wetlands breed in late May and early June. torial alligators or females defending (canals, lagoons, ponds, impound- Females lay a single clutch of 30 to 50 their nests or young. Necropsies of alli- ments, and streams) throughout their eggs in a mound of vegetation from gators that have attacked humans have range. early June to mid-July. Nests average shown that most are healthy and well- about 2 feet (0.6 m) in height and 5 feet nourished. It is unlikely that alligator Food Habits (1.5 m) in diameter. Nests are con- attacks are related to territorial structed of the predominant surround- defense. When defending a territory, Alligators are exclusively carnivorous ing vegetation, which is commonly alligators display, vocalize, and nor- and prey upon whatever creatures are cordgrass (Spartina spp.), sawgrass mally approach on the surface of the most available. Juvenile alligators (less (Cladium jamaicense), cattail (Typha water where they can be more intimi- than 4 feet [1.2 m]) eat crustaceans, spp.), giant reed (Phragmytes spp.), dating. In most serious alligator snails, and small fish; subadults (4 to 6 other marsh grasses, peat, pine attacks, victims were unaware of the feet [1.2 to 1.8 m]) eat mostly fish, crus- needles, and/or soil. Females tend alligator prior to the attack. Female taceans, small mammals, and birds; their nests and sometimes defend alligators frequently defend their nest and adults (greater than 6 feet [1.8 m]) them against intruders, including and young, but there have been no eat fish, mammals, turtles, birds, and humans. Eggs normally take 65 days confirmed reports of humans being other alligators. Diets are range-depen- to complete incubation. In late August bitten by protective females. Brooding dent; in Louisiana coastal marshes, to early September, 9 to 10-inch (23 to females typically try to intimidate adult alligators feed primarily on 25-cm) hatchlings are liberated from intruders by displaying and hissing nutria (Myocastor coypus), whereas in the nest by the female. She may defend before attacking. Florida and northern Louisiana, roughF-2
  4. 4. Alligators quickly become conditioned larity of appearance” to other alligator attacks in Florida, despite in-to humans, especially when food is in- endangered and threatened crocodil- creasing human and alligator popula-volved. Feeding-habituated alligators ians. This provides federal protection tions. The historically low attack ratelose their fear of humans and can be for alligators but allows state- in Louisiana is attributed to a historydangerous to unsuspecting humans, approved management and control of intense hunting.especially children. Many aggressive programs. Alligators can be legally Repellentsor “fearless” alligators have to be re- taken only by individuals with propermoved each year following feeding by licenses or permits. Florida, Louisiana, None are registered.humans. Ponds and waterways at golf Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas Toxicantscourses and high-density housing cre- have problem or nuisance alligatorate a similar problem when alligators control programs that allow permitted None are registered.become accustomed to living near hunters to kill or facilitate the removal Trappingpeople. of nuisance alligators. Other states use state wildlife officials to remove Alligators can be readily trapped be-Damage and Damage problem animals. cause they are attracted to baits. AIdentification baited hook is the simplest method and is used in Louisiana as a generalDamage by alligators is usually limited Damage Prevention and harvest method and in Florida toto injuries or death to humans or Control Methods remove nuisance alligators. Hooks aredomestic animals. Most alligator bites rigged by embedding a large fish hook Exclusionoccur in Florida, which has document- (12/0 forged) in bait (nutria, fish, beefed approximately 140 unprovoked Alligators are most dangerous in water lungs, and chicken are popular) andattacks from 1972 to 1991, or about 7 or at the water’s edge. They occasion- suspended from a tree limb or poleper year. Since 1972, 5 deaths have ally make overland forays in search of about 2 feet (0.6 m) above the surfacebeen positively attributed to alligators. new habitat, mates, or prey. Concrete of the water. The bait should be setHistorically, nonfatal attacks have also or wooden bulkheads that are a mini- closer to the water to catch smaller alli-been documented in South Carolina mum of 3 feet (1 m) above the high gators. To increase success, baited(8), Louisiana (2), Texas (1), Georgia water mark will repel alligators along hooks should be set in the evening and(1), and Alabama (1). waterways and lakes. Alligators have left overnight during the primary feed- been documented to climb 5-foot (1.5- ing time of alligators. Once swallowed,Alligators inflict damage with their m) chain-link fences to get at dogs. the hook lodges in the alligator’s stom-sharp, cone-shaped teeth and powerful Fences at least 5 feet high with 4-inch ach and the alligator is retrieved withjaws. Bites are characterized by punc- (10-cm) mesh will effectively exclude the attached rope. This method can killture wounds and/or torn flesh. Alliga- larger alligators if the top of the fence or otherwise injure alligators and is nottors, like other crocodilians that take is angled outward. suitable for alligators that are to belarge prey, prefer to seize an append-age and twist it off by spinning. Many Habitat Modification translocated. Hooked alligators areserious injuries have involved badly most effectively killed by a shot to the Elimination of wetlands will eradicate brain with a small caliber (.22) rifle.damaged and broken arms on humans alligators because they depend onand legs on animals. Sometimes alliga- Powerheads (“bangsticks”) can also be water for cover, food, and temperature used to kill alligators, but should onlytors bite or eat previously drowned regulation. Most modifications of wet-persons. Coroners can usually deter- be used with the barrel under water lands, however, are unlawful and and according to manufacturer recom-mine whether a person drowned would adversely affect other wildlife.before or after being bitten. Stories of mendations. Elimination of emergent vegetationalligators breaking the legs of full- can reduce alligator densities by Trip-snare traps (Fig. 2) are more com-grown men with their tails are reducing cover. Check with appropri- plicated and somewhat less effectiveunfounded. ate conservation authorities before than are set hooks but do not injure orAlligators sometimes excavate exten- modifying any wetlands. kill alligators. An alligator is attractedsive burrows or dens for refuges from to the bait and, because of the place- Frightening ment of the guide boards, is forced tocold temperatures, drought, andpredators (other alligators and hu- Aversive conditioning using sticks to enter from the end of the trap with themans). Burrowing by alligators can prod “tame” alligators and rough han- snare. The alligator puts its headdamage dikes in impoundments. dling of captured alligators have been through the self-locking snare (No. 3, attempted in several areas with limited 72-inch [1.84-m]; see Supplies and success. Hunting pressure appears to Materials), seizes the bait, and releasesLegal Status the trigger mechanism as it pulls the be the most effective means of increas-The American alligator is federally ing alligator wariness and may be re- bait. The surgical tubing contracts andclassified as “threatened due to simi- sponsible for limiting the incidence of locks the snare on the alligator. These F-3
  5. 5. traps can be modified as floating sets. INSERT A variation of the trip-snare trap can Smooth Top be set on alligator trails and rigged to Notch trip by the weight of the alligator (see Mazzotti and Brandt 1988). Wire box traps have been used effec- See insert tively to trap alligators. Heavy nets 3/16" x 3" wooden 6" have been used with limited success to dowel with eyelet inserted into surgi- capture alligators and crocodiles at cal tubing 32" surgical basking sites. tubing stretched to 80" when snare 8 P common nail is set driven through 1" x 2" Translocation upright and excess trimmed to 3/4" Translocation of problem alligators was practiced extensively during the 1970s with limited success. Alligators, especially larger ones, tended to return to their original capture sites after being moved. These alligators not only caused problems during their return trip but frequently required subse- quent capture and translocation. Translocation is not recommended unless areas with depleted alligator 8" populations are available for release of problem animals. WATER Shooting EDGE Next to baited hooks, shooting is prob- Surgical ably the most effective means of Kleflock Fragile No. 2 Snare Tubing removing alligators. Alligators can be Twig shot during the day or at night, and 20" should be shot in the brain case with a WATER sufficiently powerful rifle (.243 caliber LINE and larger) for an efficient and humane kill. Firearms, however, pre- sent public safety problems in most nuisance alligator settings. Further- more, alligators sink almost immedi- Fig. 2. Alligator trip-snare trap. ately after dying and may be difficult to recover (by gaffs or snatch hooks) in the alligator and, after the tip pene- size of the alligator; small alligators areas with currents or dense submer- trates the skin, withdrawn, leaving the can be caught with standard light fish- gent plants. This method may make tip embedded under the alligator’s ing gear while large alligators require confirmation of a kill difficult and may skin (Fig. 3b). As tension is placed on 10/0 hooks, a 100-pound test line, and compromise the commercial value of the retrieval line, the off-center attach- a heavy-duty fishing rod. Heavy hooks the alligator. Crossbows with lines ment location of the cable causes the with nylon line can be hand-cast for attached to barbed bolts work fairly tip to rotate into a position parallel to larger alligators. After the hook pen- well at short distances but should only the skin of the alligator, providing a etrates the alligator’s skin, the line be used to kill alligators. secure attachment to the alligator. Har- must be kept tight to prevent the hook poons are less effective than firearms, from falling out. Alligators frequently Other Methods but the attached line helps to ensure roll after being snagged and become Detachable-head harpoons (Fig. 3a, b) the recovery of the alligator. entangled in the line. This entangle- with attached lines have been used ef- ment permits a more effective recov- Snatch hooks are weighted multitine fectively to harvest nuisance alligators. ery. Snatch hooks work well during hooks on fishing line that can be cast A harpoon assembly (Fig. 3a) is at- the day and at night, provided that over an alligator’s back and embedded tached to a 10- to 12-foot (3- to 3.5-m) vegetation is minimal. in its skin. The size of hooks and the wooden pole. The harpoon is thrust at line strength should be suited to the Handheld poles with self-lockingF-4
  6. 6. a Base snares (sizes No. 2 and 3; Fig. 4) can be (aluminum) Peg Tube used effectively to capture unwary Tip (stainless steel) (copper) alligators at night. For smaller (less(stainless steel) than 6 feet [1.8 m]) alligators, snares can be affixed to a pole with a hose clamp. For adult alligators, snares should be rigged to “break away” from the pole by attaching the snare to the pole with thin (1/2-inch [1-cm] wide) duct tape (Fig. 4). The tape or Cable clamps allow the snare to be maneu- (stainless steel) vered and are designed to release after the snare is locked. Carefully place the snare around the alligator’s neck, then Skin jerk the pole and/or retrieval line to b set the locking snare. A nylon retrieval rope should always be fastened to the snare and the rope secured to a boat or other heavy object. Muscle For alligators less than 6 feet (1.8 m) long, commercially available catch poles (Fig. 5; see Supplies and Materials) can be used. Snake tongs (Fig. 6, see Supplies and Materials) are effective for catching alligators lessFig. 3. (a) Detachable-head harpoon; (b) Rotation of harpoon tip after penetration. than 2 feet (0.6 m) long. Avoidance Measures can be taken to avoid con- frontations with alligators and sub- stantially reduce the probability of attacks. Avoid swimming or partici- Duct tape pating in water activities in areas with (1/2") large alligators. Avoid water activities at dusk and at night during the warmer months when alligators are most active. Alligators can quickly surge at least 5 feet (1.5 m) onto the shore to seize prey, so care should be taken when at the water’s edge. Do not feed alligators. Avoid approaching nests and capturing young (<2 feet [0.6 m]) alligators. Locking snare (No. 3) Nylon Economics of Damage and rope Control Alligators can cause injuries and death to humans, livestock, and pets. All alli- gator bites require medical treatment and serious bites may require hospital- ization. Infections can result from alli- gator bites, particularly from the Aeromonas spp. bacteria.Fig. 4. Break-away snare. Lawsuits that arise from findings of negligence on the part of a private F-5
  7. 7. Acknowledgments We thank William Brownlee, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Ted Joanen, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Steve Fig. 5. Commercial catch pole. Ruckel, Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Thomas Swayngham, South Carolina Department of Wildlife and Marine Resources; and Paul Moler and Michael Jennings, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission for providing information on their respective states and for reviewing this chapter. We also thank Thomas Murphy and Philip Wilkinson, South Carolina Department of Wildlife and Marine Resources, for providing diagrams of the trip- snare trap. Fig. 6. Snake tongs. For Additional Information Delany, M. F., A. R. Woodward, and I. H. Kochel. 1988. Nuisance alligator food habits in Florida. Florida Field Nat. 16:90-96. Hines, T. C., and K. D. Keenlyne. 1976. Alligator attacks on humans in Florida. Proc. Ann. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish Wildl. Agencies 30:358-361. Hines, T. C., and A. R. Woodward. 1980. Nuisance alligator control in Florida. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 8:234-241. Jennings, M. L., A. R. Woodward, and D. N. David. 1989. Florida’s nuisance alligator control program. Proc. Eastern Wildl. Damage Control Conf. 4:29-36. Joanen, T., and L. McNease. 1987. The management of alligators in Louisiana, U.S.A. Pages 33-42 in G. J. W. Webb, S. C. Manolis, and P. J. Whitehead, eds. Wildlife owner or governmental agency of $390 (at $30 per foot for skins and $5 management: crocodiles and alligators. responsible for an attack site can lead per pound for meat). Other products Surrey Beatty and Sons Pty. Ltd., Chipping to significant economic liability. such as skulls, teeth, fat, and organs Norton, NSW, Australia. can be sold, but account for less than Mazzotti, F. J., and L. A. Brandt. 1988. A method In Florida, approximately 15% of the of live-trapping wary crocodiles. Herpetol. 10% of the value of an alligator. Nui- alligator complaints are due to fear of Rev. 19:40-41. sance alligator control programs in pet losses and, to a lesser extent, live- several states use the sale of alligator Murphy, T., P. Wilkinson, J. Coker, and M. stock losses. Losses of livestock other Hudson. 1983. The alligator trip snare: a live skins to offset costs of removal and than domestic waterfowl, however, capture method. South Carolina Wildl. and administration. Marine Resour. Dep., Columbia. (unpub. are uncommon and difficult to verify. brochure). Levees damaged by alligator burrows Florida has the most pressing nuisance or dens may require repair. alligator problem and currently har- Thompson, B. C., L. A. Johnson, D. S. Lobpries, vests about 4,000 alligators per year. and K. L. Brown. 1986. Capabilities of Alligators are valuable for their skin hunters to shoot and retrieve free-swimming Nuisance alligator harvests also occur alligators. Proc. Ann. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. and meat. An average-sized nuisance in Louisiana (600), Georgia (400), Fish Wildl. Agencies 40:342-348. alligator typically yields 8 feet (2.4 m) South Carolina (250), and Texas (50). of skin and 30 pounds (13.5 kg) of boneless meat with a wholesale value Editors Scott E. Hygnstrom Robert M. Timm Gary E. LarsonF-6
  8. 8. James F. FowlerWildlife SpecialistLouisiana Cooperative CRAYFISH Extension ServiceLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton Rouge, Louisiana 70803Wendell LorioAquaculture SpecialistLouisiana Cooperative Extension ServiceLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton Rouge, LA 70803Greg LutzAquaculture SpecialistLouisiana Cooperative Extension ServiceLouisiana State University Agricultural CenterBaton Rouge, LA 70803 Fig. 1. CrayfishDamage Prevention and Toxicants Identification, Range, andControl Methods None are registered. Check individual Biology state regulations for Special LocalExclusion Needs registrations 24(c). Crayfish, also called crawfish, Approved turf insecticides used for crawcrab, crab, stonecrab, crawdad,Not practical. insect pest control will also control creekcrab, and other local names, areCultural Methods native to fresh waters on all continents crayfish in lawn and turf areas.Deep tillage destroys burrows and except Africa, where they have been Fumigants widely introduced. There are over 400 generally results in lower populations. None are registered. Check state species in the family Astacidae world- regulations for Special Local Needs wide, and approximately 300 speciesDrainage of rice irrigation systems and in the United States. In size, shape, and registrations 24(c). fields during fall and winter months color, the variation is extremely wide reduces populations. Trapping among species. The detailed life histo-Repellents Not effective in eliminating ries and habits of all species of crayfish populations. May be used in are beyond the scope of this handbook.None are registered. capturing crayfish for bait or food. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994 Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control F-7 Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee
  9. 9. Crayfish are economically important in Damage Prevention and Trapping a number of states for use as fish bait and for human consumption. In Loui- Control Methods Wire cage traps, baited with fish, chicken, or other meat can be used to siana, the crayfish is a major economic Cultural Methods capture crayfish, but they are not cost- crop and comprises the second largest effective in damage control situations. aquaculture industry in North Deep cultivation helps reduce burrow- America. Over 130,000 acres (56,000 ing crayfish populations in rice fields ha) are devoted solely to crayfish and other grain crops. Drainage of rice Acknowledgments culture. irrigation canals and fallow fields dur- Figure 1 by Emily Oseas Routman. ing fall and winter is also helpful in Damage reducing crayfish populations in these areas. For Additional Most damage associated with crayfish High populations of crayfish are Information is the result of crayfish burrowing in generally associated with years of high home lawns. Burrows created by rainfall. Unseasonably dry weather Hobbs, H. H., Jr. 1972. Crayfishes (Astacidae) of burrowing species of crayfish are dam- conditions usually reduce crayfish North and middle America. Identification aging to turf areas and may be hazard- Manual No. 9, Biota of Freshwater numbers. Ecosystems, US Environ. Prot. Agency. ous to mowing machinery. Newly Washington, DC. 173 pp. planted rice fields may be damaged by Rapid drainage of baitfish ponds dur- ing early spring helps eliminate cray- Momot, W. T., G. Howing, and P. D. Jones. 1978. foraging crayfish where local popula- The dynamics of crayfish and their role in tions are high. fish by exposing them to predators ecosystems. Am. Midl. Nat. 99:10-35. before burrowing activities begin. Crayfish populations in commercial Principal predators include snakes, Pennak, R. W. 1978. Freshwater invertebrates of baitfish ponds can reduce reproduc- the United States, 2d ed. John Wiley and racoons, mink, otter, skunks, bass, Sons, New York. 803 pp. tion by feeding on the eggs of the catfish, ibis, and herons. baitfish as they are deposited on Pflieger, W. L. 1987. An introduction to the spawning mats. During pond harvest, crayfish of Missouri. Missouri Dep. Conserv. Toxicants Jefferson City. 16 pp. crayfish caught in the nets injure and destroy baitfish as they are being har- There are no General Use Pesticides Williams, A. B., and A. B. Leonard. 1952. The crayfishes of Kansas. Univ. Kansas, Sci. Bull. vested for market. registered for crayfish control. In some 34:961-1012. Unwanted populations of crayfish states, however, Special Local Needs have been established in the wild registration under section 24(c) of because of the release of bait crayfish. FIFRA have been established for cer- Some populations have reached tain insecticides for burrow treatment. Editors extremely high levels. Crayfish can Scott E. Hygnstrom Toxicants, where legal, may be used at Robert M. Timm reduce game fish populations by prey- any time of the year when crayfish are Gary E. Larson ing on eggs and fry. They also can active, but best results are obtained in degrade habitat by destroying aquatic early fall when adults are in their bur- vegetation. rows. To be effective, applications of toxic chemicals must reach the water in the burrows. Additional treatments Legal Status may be necessary where burrows in dikes or dams open at the bottom into Crayfish may be protected by law in a pond or stream. some states. Harvest of crayfish may also be regulated by state wildlife con- Fumigants servation agencies. In areas where damage occurs, control measures are None are federally registered for cray- generally unrestricted. Check with fish control. Check with your local your local agricultural or wildlife wildlife or agricultural agency for authorities before initiating control. Special Local Needs registrations. Unwanted populations of crayfish have resulted in regulations against the use of crayfish as bait in some northern lakes.F-8
  10. 10. Paul E. MolerWildlife BiologistFlorida Game and Fresh Water Fish FROGS AND TOADS CommissionWildlife Research LaboratoryGainesville, Florida 32601Fig. 1. Great Plains toad, Bufo cognatusDamage Prevention and Habitat Modification TrappingControl Methods Around hatchery ponds, keep vegeta- Funnel traps. tion closely mown and remove CaptureExclusion emergent vegetation and other types of cover. Capture by hand or gig at night.Seal all openings 3/16 inch (0.5 cm) or larger to exclude frogs. Frightening Egg masses may be removed with a fine-meshed net.A frogproof fence can be used for Not applicable. nonclimbing species, but will be in- Shooting Repellents effective against treefrogs and a few Allowed in some states, but often not related species. None are registered. safe in areas requiring control.On fish farms, mesh tenting over Toxicants Some states permit shooting only ponds will serve to exclude frogs as during daylight hours. None are registered. well as birds and other predators. Fumigants None are registered. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994 Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control F-9 Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee
  11. 11. Identification mice, and small birds. In natural habi- tions of the west has seriously affected tats, fish usually comprise less than 5% some native species. In at least some Frogs and toads are amphibians with of the diet of the bullfrog. On fish cases, these introductions may have four legs and no tail. They may have farms, as many as 30% of bullfrogs resulted from the unintentional release skin that is smooth and moist or dry have been found to contain fish. of tadpoles during fish-stocking pro- and warty, but they have no scales or grams. Considerable labor is required claws. The front legs are short, but the General Biology, to separate tadpoles from loads of fry. hind legs are muscular and elongated Reproduction, and Only in rare instances do frogs cause for hopping or jumping. The popular Behavior any significant damage. Some species distinction between frogs and toads is (toads, for example) produce skin somewhat artificial; basically, toads Although some species spend most of secretions that are toxic if ingested. are a particular group of frogs. their adult lives away from water, This does not normally present a prob- Throughout this chapter, the term frog most frogs native to North America lem for people, and pets usually learn will be used to include toads. North must return to water to lay eggs. Some to avoid such frogs. A few species American frogs range in body size species breed during the cooler winter (giant toad, Colorado River toad) pro- from the 11/16-inch (1.7-cm) little and spring months, whereas others duce especially copious or toxic secre- grass frog to the 8-inch (20-cm) bull- breed during the warmer months. Fol- tions, and there have been cases in frog. lowing rain, males begin calling from which dogs have died after biting breeding sites. Each species has its them. Range own distinctive call, and females The noise sometimes produced by respond only to the calls of their own large breeding choruses of frogs fol- At least 85 species of frogs are native species. Several recordings of frog calls lowing heavy rains can be annoying to to the United States, and there are are available, and four are listed at the humans. These aggregations usually three well-established exotic species. end of this chapter. last only a few days, however, and sel- There is no part of the country that is Eggs are fertilized by the male as they dom warrant control. Similarly, com- not home to at least a few species. are released by the female. Hatching plaints sometimes arise when large occurs a few days later. The aquatic numbers of young frogs leave the Habitat tadpole stage may last as little as 2 to 3 ponds en masse, but the frogs disperse weeks in some species of spadefoots or quickly, and the “problem” will take Frogs occur in almost all nonmarine as long as 2 years in some northern care of itself in a few days. habitats. “True” frogs (genus Rana) populations of bullfrogs. and treefrogs predominate in the more humid east. In the drier Great Plains Frogs are typically most active at Legal Status and western regions, toads and night. Some species aggregate around spadefoots are typically more numer- artificial lights and feed on the insects Laws pertaining to frogs vary from ous. Whereas some species are seldom attracted there. Frogs are an important state to state. Some rare species (for found far from permanent water, component of the vertebrate food example, Houston toad, Wyoming others return to water only seasonally chain and are consumed by a variety toad, Pine Barrens treefrog) may be to breed. Some desert species spend of predators, including fish, snakes, fully protected under federal or state most of their time beneath ground, turtles, wading birds, raptors, skunks, laws. Seasons and bag limits may venturing to the surface only following and raccoons. Individuals of many apply to other species (bullfrogs, for rains. species may live 12 to 15 years, but life example). Permits to remove frogs that expectancy is much shorter in the are causing damage are available in Food Habits wild. some states. Contact your state wildlife department to determine the legal Most frogs have a two-phased life Damage status of frogs in your area. cycle, including an aquatic larval form The greatest potential for economic (tadpole) and a terrestrial or semi- aquatic adult form. Tadpoles are pri- damage is at fish farms and hatcheries. Damage Prevention and Tadpoles compete for food intended Control Methods marily herbivorous, feeding on algae for fish, and adult bullfrogs may actu- and decaying organic matter. Adults, ally feed on the fish. Losses are said to Exclusion on the other hand, are carnivorous, be high at some fish farms. One study consuming almost any prey that can be The effectiveness of exclusion depends suggested that the mere presence of overpowered. Although the diet con- in part on the species involved. Most high densities of tadpoles retarded sists primarily of insects, crayfish, and species responsible for potential or real reproduction of fish. Although the other invertebrates, larger frogs occa- damage can be effectively excluded bullfrog is native to most of the eastern sionally take snakes, other frogs, fish, from limited areas. Giant toads (south- United States, its introduction to por-F-10
  12. 12. ern Florida, extreme southern Texas) Caution: traps may capture other non- Acknowledgmentsor Colorado River toads (southern target species, including snakes,Arizona, extreme southeastern Califor- turtles, and small mammals. Figure 1 by Randy Babb, Arizona Game andnia) can be excluded from pet enclo- Fish Department.sures by placing a strip of 1/8-inch Capture(0.3-cm) mesh hardware cloth along Frogs can be located at night by the re-the outside base of the perimeter fence. For Additional flection of their eyes in the beam of aThe hardware cloth should be buried headlamp. They can be collected by Informationat least 4 inches (10 cm) in the ground gig or hand. Captured frogs may beand should extend to a height of at Altig, R. 1970. A key to the tadpoles of the eaten, or where allowed by law, sold continental United States and Canada.least 20 inches (50 cm). A similar exclu- to provide additional economic Herpetol. 26:180-207.sion fence can be used to control returns. Check with your state wildlife Bogert, C. M. Sounds of North American frogs:breeding aggregations of nonclimbing agency regarding seasons, bag limits, the biological significance of voice in frogs.species in small, urban stormwater legal methods of take, and restrictions (Record or cassette. Calls of 50 species.)detention basins or to exclude these on sale. Distributed by Rounder Records,species from small hatchery ponds. Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Smithsonian Folkways Records, Rockville, Maryland.Although treefrogs and some related Shootingspecies will readily climb such a fence, Boyd, S. H. 1975. Inhibition of fish reproductionmost treefrogs normally breed in sea- Although shooting is allowable in by Rana catesbeiana larvae. Physiol. Zool. some states, it is not safe in some areas 48:225-234.sonal, fish-free waters. In addition,their eggs and tadpoles are readily requiring control. Conant, R., and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern andeaten by fish, so they do not usually central North America. Houghton Mifflinpresent a significant problem on fish Economics of Damage Co., Boston. 450 pp.farms. and Control Corse, W. A., and D. E. Metter. 1980. Economics, adult feeding and larval growth of RanaHabitat Modification catesbeiana on a fish hatchery. J. Herpetol. Frogs eat many insect pests. With theKeep the shoreline of ponds free of 14:231-238. exception of fish farms, control mea-emergent vegetation to minimize cover sures for frogs are seldom warranted Duellman, W. E., and L. Trueb. 1986. Biology offor adult frogs and allow predators to and, in most cases, should be discour- amphibians. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. 670 pp.assist in control. Efforts to directly aged. On fish farms, the economicremove adult frogs at night will also be damage depends in part on the unit Elliot, L. 1992. The calls of frogs and toads:facilitated. Eastern and Central North America. value of the fish produced. Corse and (Cassette and booklet. Calls of 42 species.) Metter (1980) provided data suggest- Chelsea Green Pub. Co. Post Mills, Vermont.Frightening ing that a 350-pond farm that pro- Johnson, T. R. Talking toad and frog poster andNot applicable. duced goldfish might sustain $42,000 cassette. (Includes 20 frogs found in in annual losses to bullfrogs, whereas Missouri.) Missouri Dep. Conserv., JeffersonRepellents the same facility might sustain only City.None are registered. $12,600 in losses if it produced golden Kellogg, P. P., and A. A. Allen. Voices of the shiners, a less valuable species. It fol- night. (Calls of 34 species found in easternToxicants lows that losses might be still higher North America). Houghton Mifflin Co. (for the Cornell Lab. Ornith.), Boston. on farms specializing in valuableNone are registered. aquarium fishes. Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton MifflinFumigants Co., Boston. 336 pp.None are registered.TrappingPlace funnel traps along the base of a Editors Scott E. Hygnstromperimeter fence. Toads may also be Robert M. Timmtrapped by burying several 5-gallon Gary E. Larson(19-l) buckets flush with the groundsurface beneath an overhead light.Toads attracted by the insects drawnto the light will fall into the bucketsand be unable to escape. F-11
  13. 13. F-12
  14. 14. James L. ByfordProfessor and DeanSchool of Agriculture and SALAMANDERS Home EconomicsThe University of Tennessee, MartinMartin, Tennessee 38238Fig. 1. Tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum.Considerable variation in color pattern occurs inthis species.Damage Prevention and Repellents IdentificationControl Methods None are registered. Toxicants Salamanders are smooth-skinned am-Exclusion phibians with no skin covering such asAll openings 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) and None are registered. scales, hair, or feathers. They do not larger should be sealed to exclude Fumigants have claws. Adult salamanders can be salamanders. distinguished from frogs and toads by Not applicable. the presence of a tail and by the nearlyHabitat Modification Trapping equal size of their front and hindRemove all items that lie close to the limbs. Most salamanders are moist or ground in damp areas, such as Not applicable. slimy to the touch, which is a good lumber or woodpiles. Shooting way to distinguish them from lizards, which are dry.Frightening Not applicable. The waterdog, which is completelyNot applicable. aquatic (water living), can be recog- nized by its featherlike external gills. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994 Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control F-13 Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee
  15. 15. Range Fumigants Legal Status There are several dozen kinds of Not applicable. Salamanders are protected in most salamanders found in the United Trapping states, as are other nongame animals. States, but most occur only in parts of In some areas, they may be legally Not applicable. one or several states. Because taken to use as bait for fishing, but in salamanders are so dependent on Shooting most areas they are completely pro- specific habitat conditions, their tected. Some salamanders are on state Not applicable. movements are limited and home lists of threatened and endangered ranges are usually very small. species. Economics of Damage and Habitat Control Damage Prevention and As mentioned earlier, salamanders are Salamanders depend on water and Control Methods completely harmless. They do not moisture for their existence. Because Exclusion have a poisonous bite and cause no they do not have a skin covering, they hazard to people, except perhaps dehydrate rapidly in dry environ- Salamanders generally do not enter frightening them. They cause no dam- ments. The larvae spend the first part buildings. On occasion, they may be age to personal property. Therefore, of their lives in water. After the larval found in a damp basement, if the base- expense toward control of salaman- form changes to the adult form, most ment stays moist most of the time and ders is not justified. Most methods salamanders leave the water and live there are items lying close to the damp required to remove salamanders are in moist areas on land. They can floor. In such cases, all openings 1/4 inexpensive and are consistent with usually be found under logs, under inch (0.6 cm) and larger should be good grooming of the yard and home rocks, near streams, and in other areas sealed to exclude salamanders. Check environment. where the ground is moist and shaded for openings around the corners of from the sun. doors and windows, water pipes, and Acknowledgments electric service entrances. Holes in Food Habits masonry foundations (poured concrete Figure 1 by Emily Oseas Routman. and concrete blocks or bricks) should All salamanders are predators. They be sealed with mortar. Openings in commonly eat insects, slugs, wood should be sealed with fine mesh For Additional earthworms, and other invertebrates. (1/8-inch [0.3-cm]) hardware cloth Information Some eat leeches, tiny mollusks, and/or sheet metal. crustaceans, and frogs’ eggs. As Barker, W. 1964. Familiar reptiles and aquatic larvae, they typically eat Habitat Modification amphibians of America. Harper & Row. New York. 220 pp. aquatic invertebrates, but some may even be cannibalistic. In situations where salamanders are Cochran, D. M. 1961. Living amphibians of the inside buildings, steps should be taken world. Doubleday. New York. 199 pp. to dry out the basement area (see a Conant, R. 1975. A field guide to reptiles and Behavior construction specialist for this) or amphibians of eastern and central North remove objects from the floor of damp America, 2d ed. Houghton Mifflin Co., Salamanders generally are active when basements where salamanders can Boston. 429 pp. there is no sunshine—at night or on hide. Keep areas outside of buildings Goin, C. J., and O. B. Goin. 1962. Introduction to cloudy, rainy days. On sunny days free from objects that salamanders can herpetology. W. H. Freeman, San Francisco. they generally hide in moist areas, hide under—lumber, sticks, old 341 pp. such as under stones and logs. Since boards, or firewood. If such items are Huheey, J. E., and A. Stupka. 1967. Amphibians salamanders are mostly nocturnal off the ground (stacked on runners) and reptiles of the Great Smoky Mountains (active at night), they are seldom seen the soil underneath can dry, making National Park. Univ. Tennessee Press. by people. Knoxville. 98 pp. the area unattractive to salamanders. Schlauch, F. C. 1976. City snakes, suburban Frightening salamanders. Nat. Hist. 85:46-53. Damage Not applicable. Salamanders do not cause damage to Repellents people or property. Occasionally, they frighten people who are not familiar None are registered. Editors Scott E. Hygnstrom with them. None have a poisonous Robert M. Timm Toxicants bite. Gary E. Larson None are registered.F-14
  16. 16. James L. ByfordProfessor and DeanSchool of Agriculture and NONPOISONOUS Home EconomicsThe University of Tennessee, MartinMartin, Tennessee 38238 SNAKESFig. 1. Bullsnake (gopher snake), PituophismelanoleucusDamage Prevention and Frightening Other MethodsControl Methods Not applicable. Remove snakes from inside buildings Repellents by placing piles of damp burlapExclusion bags or towels in areas where Several snake repellents have been snakes have been seen. After snakesSeal all openings (1/4 inch [0.6 cm] promoted, but none are consistently have been attracted, remove the and larger) with mortar, 1/8-inch effective. bags and snake(s) from the (0.3-cm) hardware cloth, sheet metal, or steel wool. Toxicants building.A snake-proof fence can be used to None are registered. Glue boards can be used to capture exclude snakes. Fumigants snakes found inside houses or other buildings. Once caught, the snakeHabitat Modification None are registered. and board can be taken outside. TheReduce rodent populations. Trapping snake can be released unharmed by pouring vegetable oil on it (the oilKeep all vegetation closely mowed; A funnel trap with drift fences can be counteracts the adhesive). remove bushes, shrubs, rocks, used. boards, firewood, and debris lying Since nonpoisonous snakes are Shooting close to the ground, especially completely harmless, control around buildings. Nonpoisonous snakes are protected by programs for them are not necessary. law in most states and indiscriminate Learn how to distinguish betweenAlter all sites that provide cool, damp, killing is illegal. Shooting or clubbing poisonous and nonpoisonous snakes dark habitat for snakes. is effective, however, where it is in your area. allowed, with permission from the state wildlife agency. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994 Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control Great Plains Agricultural Council F-15 Wildlife Committee
  17. 17. Identification Of the many kinds of snakes found in the United States, only the following Nonpoisonous are harmful: rattlesnakes, copper- heads, cottonmouths, coral snakes, and sea snakes. The latter group lives only in the oceans. All poisonous snakes, except coral snakes and sea snakes, belong in a group called pit vipers. There are three ways to distin- Poisonous guish between pit vipers and nonpoisonous snakes in the United States: Fig. 2. Nonpoisonous snakes have two rows of scales between the vent and the tip of the tail, while (1) All pit vipers have a deep pit on poisonous snakes have only one row. each side of the head, midway between the eye and the nostril. Nonpoisonous snakes do not have Round pupil these pits. (2) On the underside of the tail of Nostril pit vipers, scales go all the way across in one row (except on the very tip of the tail, which may have two rows in some cases). On the underside of the tail of all non- poisonous snakes, scales are in two Fig. 3. Nonpoisonous snakes have a round eye pupil and have no pit between the eye and the nostril. rows all the way from the vent of the snake to the tip of the tail (Fig. 2). The shed skin of a snake shows the same characteristics. Habitat Food Habits (3) The pupil of pit vipers is verti- Snakes are not very mobile, and even All snakes are predators, and the dif- cally elliptical (egg-shaped). In very though some are fairly adaptable, most ferent species eat many different kinds bright light, the pupil may be have specific habitat requirements. of food. Rat snakes eat primarily almost a vertical line, due to Some live underground (these are rodents (such as rats, mice, and chip- extreme contraction to shut out mostly small in size), and some have munks), bird eggs, and baby birds. light. The pupil of nonpoisonous eyes shielded by scales of the head. King snakes eat other snakes, as well snakes is perfectly round (Fig. 3). Others, such as green snakes, live pri- as rodents, young birds, and bird eggs. marily in trees. One group spends its Some snakes, such as green snakes, eat The poisonous coral snake is ringed entire life in the oceans. In general, primarily insects. Some small snakes, with red, yellow, and black, with red snakes like cool, damp, dark areas such as earth snakes and worm snakes, and yellow rings touching. Non- where they can find food. The follow- eat earthworms, slugs, and salaman- poisonous mimics of the coral snake ing are areas around the home that ders. Water snakes eat primarily frogs, (such as the scarlet king snake) have seem to be attractive to snakes: fire- fish, and tadpoles. red and yellow rings, separated by wood stacked directly on the ground; black rings. A helpful saying to memo- old lumber piles; junk piles; flower General Biology, rize is: “Red on yellow, kill a fellow; beds with heavy mulch; gardens; red on black, friend of Jack.” unkempt basements; shrubbery grow- Reproduction, and ing against foundations; barn lofts— Behavior Range especially where stored feed attracts Snakes are specialized animals, having Some species of nonpoisonous snakes rodents; attics in houses where there is elongated bodies and no legs. They occur throughout several states, but a rodent or bat problem; stream banks; have no ears, externally or internally, the majority have only limited ranges. pond banks where there are boards, and no eyelids, except for a protective innertubes, tires, planks, and other window beneath which the eye moves. items lying on the bank; unmowed The organs of the body are elongated. lawns; and abandoned lots and fields. Snakes have a long, forked tongue,F-16