Researchers reveal latest findings in Powder Valley Nature Center Copperhead Study during in-person and virtual presentation Aug. 5

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KIRKWOOD, Mo.—Copperheads conjure up curiosity, mystery, and even fear.  In truth they are one of Missouri’s most intriguing and often least understood venomous snakes.  Researchers have been conducting a study of copperheads at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Powder Valley Nature Center for the past several years.  They’ve been probing the mysteries of copperheads and uncovering some interesting facts.

The public can learn about these discoveries directly from the research team at a special Powder Valley Copperhead Study Update presentation, Friday, Aug. 5 from 6-8 p.m.  This is a free program with both in-person and virtual options.  The in-person program will take place in the Powder Valley Nature Center auditorium, and an opportunity to join via WebEx will be provided for those who can’t make it to the nature center.

Dr. Ben Jellen and his research assistant, Brittany Neier, will reveal the secret life of copperheads, one of the area's most common, yet misunderstood venomous snakes. The team has employed radio telemetry technology to track the movements of copperheads on the nature center grounds and property immediately surrounding it for the past several years. 

How far do these snakes move?  Where do they go?  What type of habitat do they prefer? How cold do they get over the winter? What do baby copperheads do? What is the greatest danger a copperhead faces in the wild?  Visitors will discover these answers and more as Jellen and Neier share information garnered from a long-term study currently underway at Powder Valley Nature Center. 

The Powder Valley Copperhead Study Update program is free, however attend the in person or WebEx presentation will require advanced online registration at the following links:

The presentation is open to all ages. Those opting to participate virtually will receive an email invitation with the program link approximately 24 hours prior to the event. Please check junk mail/spam folders if you do not receive the invitation.

Powder Valley Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44.

Another way to learn more about the study is to join MDC’s Wild Webcast, “The Secrets of Snakes” Wednesday, Aug. 17, from noon to 1 p.m.  Dr. Jellen will also share his ongoing research findings on copperheads live during the podcast with host Joe Jerek.  To watch the webcast, go to

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