Brown Snakes on the Rise in West Virginia

Brown Snakes on the Rise in West Virginia: A Growing Concern

West Virginia is home to a variety of wildlife, including a wide range of snakes. One species in particular, the brown snake, is becoming increasingly common in the state. This has caused some concern among residents and wildlife experts alike, as brown snakes can be dangerous if not handled properly. In this article, we’ll take a look at why brown snakes are on the rise in West Virginia and what can be done to protect both people and wildlife from potential harm.

What Are Brown Snakes?

Brown snakes are small, non-venomous reptiles that are native to North America. They typically grow to between 8 and 12 inches long and have a light brown or tan coloration with dark stripes running down their backs. Brown snakes feed primarily on insects and other small invertebrates, making them beneficial for controlling pest populations.

Why Are Brown Snakes Becoming More Common in West Virginia?

There are several factors that may be contributing to the increasing number of brown snakes in West Virginia. One possible explanation is that the milder winters experienced in recent years have allowed more of these reptiles to survive through the cold months. Additionally, human development has created more suitable habitats for these animals by providing them with food sources such as insects and rodents. Finally, some experts believe that climate change may also be playing a role by allowing these animals to expand their range into new areas.

Potential Risks Posed by Brown Snakes

Although brown snakes are generally harmless creatures, they can still pose a risk if they’re not handled properly or if they’re disturbed while trying to feed or mate. These animals can bite if provoked or startled, which can cause minor injuries such as puncture wounds or swelling around the bite area. In rare cases, bites from brown snakes may also lead to allergic reactions or infections due to bacteria present on their skin or teeth.

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How Can We Protect People and Wildlife from Brown Snakes?

The best way to protect both people and wildlife from potential harm caused by brown snakes is through education and awareness. It’s important for people living in areas where these animals are common to learn how to identify them and understand how best to handle them if encountered in the wild. Additionally, it’s important for people living near natural habitats where these animals live to take steps such as keeping their yards free of debris that could provide shelter for these creatures or removing any standing water sources that could attract them into residential areas. Finally, it’s important for people who encounter these animals while out hiking or camping to remain calm and avoid disturbing them so as not to provoke an attack.

Conclusion

Brown snakes are becoming increasingly common in West Virginia due to milder winters and human development creating suitable habitats for them. Although generally harmless creatures, they can still pose a risk if not handled properly or disturbed while trying to feed or mate. The best way to protect both people and wildlife from potential harm caused by brown snakes is through education and awareness so that everyone knows how best to handle them should they encounter one in the wild.