A species that occurs naturally with respect to a particular ecosystem.


The behavior, physiology, and structure of an organism allowing it to be more suited to an environment.


The preservation and careful management of the environment and of natural resources.


The area or environment where an organism or ecological community normally lives or occurs.


Function of a particular species in an ecological community; all aspects of an organisms existence that enable it to survive and reproduce.


(cold-blooded) An organism that regulates its body temperature largely by exchanging heat with its surroundings.


(Warm-blooded) An organism that generates heat to maintain its body temperature, typically above the temperature of its surroundings.


Any of various non-venomous snakes, such as the pythons and boas, that coil around and squeeze their prey to suffocate and kill it.


Venom is any of a variety of toxins used by certain types of animals. Generally, venom is injected by such means as a bite or a sting. (e.g. Cobra)


Substances that can cause disturbances to organisms. Not safe to eat. (e.g. Mushrooms)

Hemotoxic Venom

Effects the blood and organs, causing a breakdown or inflammation in the body. Are the most painful as breathing hurts and tissues start to die. (e.g. Pit Vipers)

Neurotoxic Venom

Effects the nervous system and brain. Leads to everything from seizures to death. These bites are the most deadly. (e.g. Cobras & Coral Snakes)

Ovate (Round) Pupil

Oval or round shaped center “black area” of the eye found in humans and native non-venomous snakes.

Elliptical Pupil

Pupil “black area” of the eye that is round in center and pointed on both ends, often found in cats and native venomous snakes.

Venom Animals

Actual animals in program may vary from those listed depending upon availability.

Timber Rattlesnake

Found in the eastern United States, this venomous reptile can reach an average of 3 to 4 feet in length with records over 6 feet. The bite is very serious and can be fatal, although rare. Before striking, they often do a good deal of preliminary rattling and feinting. Timber Rattlesnakes are typically found in deciduous forests in rugged terrain where they hunt for small mammals and birds using smell and heat pits. They can vary in color from light olive to solid black.

Western Cottonmouth (aka Water Moccasin)

This totally aquatic venomous snake is capable of delivering a very painful and potentially fatal bite. The cottonmouth gets its name for the unique behavior of gaping its mouth while standing its ground. Their diet consists of mostly fish and frogs with an occassional small mammal or bird. The Western Cottomouth can reach 5 feet in length although 3 foot is fairly average. It is a robust snake with great agility for swimming. They are found throughout the southeastern United States around water sources such as lakes, ponds, swamps and bogs.

Southern Copperhead

These pit vipers are very common within their range of the southeastern United States. Although their bite is not nearly as dangerous as other venomous snakes in their region, they can still inflict an extremely painful and damaging bite. The Southern Coperhead averages 2½ to 3 feet in length with rare specimens exceeding 4 feet. Their colors and pattern make copperheads extremely camoflauged causing them to go unnoticed by humans and prey items alike. Like most North American vipers, copperheads prefer to avoid humans and will first attempt to leave the area without biting. However, unlike other vipers they will often “freeze” instead of slithering away, and as a result many bites occur from people unknowingly stepping on or near them.

Black Rat Snake

Found in the Midwest of the United States, these constrictors are excellent climbers and often prey on bird nests and animals residing in tree cavities. Their effectiveness in rodent control in urban environments is unmatched. This snake is often referred to as the “chicken snake”, “pilot snake” or simply “black snake”. Black Rat Snakes are one of the longest snakes in the Unites States capable of reaching 8 feet long.

Black King Snake

This harmless, and often docile, constrictor is a true “snake haters” best friend. King snakes get their name from the fact that they often feed on other snakes including venomous snakes. Unlike other snakes, king snakes are immune to venomous snake venom. The Black King Snake can grow up to 4 feet long and can be identified by their glossy black scales, yellow speckles and checkerboard belly. They are often confused with the black rat snake or black racers in their native range.

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