Threatened Rattlesnakes

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

TALLAHASSEE -- A researcher and three conservation
groups want the eastern diamondback rattlesnake protected.

They asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday for
threatened species status for venomous the snakes.

Tallahassee researcher Bruce Means said they are a wildlife treasure that shouldn't be allowed to go extinct.

Only 2 or 3 percent of the reptile's original habitat remains and thousands are killed every year at "rattlesnake roundups" in
Georgia and Alabama.

The numbers of snakes captured at the roundups, however, has
declined in recent years and their weights also have dropped.

Means joined with the Center for Biological Diversity and the groups Protect All Living Species and One More Generation to file the request.

A review process is expected to take several years before a decision is made.

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  • by P.B. on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:27 AM
    Sounds great! Let's build them a five star resort next to the turtle tunnel!
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Aug 24, 2011 at 03:05 AM
    Remember when alligators were getting "scarce" and needed protecting? Now we are up to our armpits in alligators and having to hunt them to keep their numbers down. To those who think it is necessary for man to "help" nature, forget it. We've tried eradicating things like mosquitoes because of malaria and other diseases they spread and we still have mosquitoes. There is no way rattlesnakes will be eradicated nor do they need protection. And what happened to these guys' idea of evolution? Shouldn't they evolve into something better if their situation gets dire? Funny how that just works in the textbooks and classroom, but in application doesn't seem to.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 24, 2011 at 06:27 AM in reply to Georgia Boy
      speaking of evolving, while i was at the caverns in marianna this past summer with my kids a lady was saying they are evolving with no rattle. i don't know how true it is, but i am checking on it, now.
    • reply
      by evolve on Aug 24, 2011 at 08:33 AM in reply to Georgia Boy
      Evolution takes centuries when animals live in all natural habitat. If another factor kills them all, people, disease, lack of food, and loss of habitat, they will never be able to evolve to combat all the factors affecting them in enough time.
  • by Country Location: crotalid heaven on Aug 23, 2011 at 06:35 PM
    Well, I doubt Dr. Means thinks that crotalids will ever be safe around people's houses -- still, there is no need to kill one out in the National Forest or on a WMA, even on the road. As any old-time trapper can tell you, though, harvesting a portion of the mature individuals of a given species annually will actually help maintain and stabilize the population as a whole. That said, those who want to keep having "roundups" like the one in Whigham better start leaving some snakes for seed -- or they will have import snakes from elsewhere to have their "festival"...
  • by Foxgloves Location: Tlh on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM
    They are not extinct. Not going to be extinct. This sounds like a bunch that has lived off the taxpayers on some government job, which is useless. Maybe cousins that created the turtle fence. They never have, never will hold a hard work job; always on the public money, creating useless programs to waste more money. Gophers are more extince than snakes and they are being destroyed all the time, as well as their habitat, and when it is destroyed by electric lines and pipelines, they all lie their way through it, with experts to testify to justify anything they do.
  • by Country Girl Location: Tallahassee on Aug 23, 2011 at 11:16 AM
    Seriously? Protect venomous snakes??? Sorry, but if I come across one, BAM! It's done - better it than me or my dog!
  • by anonymous Location: tallahassee on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM
    I pray not a dime is spent on this ridiculous idea. Let a rattlesnake show up on my property and I see it before it sees me, my family, pet, friends, etc. You have got to be kidding me. ....and I agree with "they will never go extinct."
  • by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM
    As the owner of a 1200 acre farm in Whigham, I know that Rattlesnakes will never go extinct.
    • reply
      by Steve Not in Marietta on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:57 PM in reply to
      This is where I go to eat rattlers' and it's a hoot! Thanx.
  • by Limited Thinking Location: Tally on Aug 23, 2011 at 07:56 AM
    All creatures are a necessary part of the life cycle. Snakes help to keep down the rodent population & serve a useful purpose in the food chain. When they made wolves nearly extinct out west, they were overrun by rabbits & other animals that devastated the crops. When man interferes with the natural cycle of life, things go haywire. All creatures need to be protected from mindless hunting & killing just for the sport. If you had to hunt to have food to eat, that's one thing, but just to kill for sport? No!! They make targets if you want to target practice. There's plenty of leather for belts, shoes, etc. Nobody has to have rattlesnake belts, boots, & hatbands.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 23, 2011 at 11:54 AM in reply to Limited Thinking
      You must get some good weed cause you have to be out of your mind to say what you just did. I am a deer hunter and a couple of years ago the deer were so overpopulated where we hunt that some were going hungry. They were very skinny and poor. After a couple of years of us thinning the heard our deer are healthier and bigger than they have been in along time. Don't say that man doesn't need to interfere with nature.
  • by anomyous on Aug 23, 2011 at 06:43 AM
    Great thinking guys. Kill the unborn babies and save the serpent. No wonder the Lord level Sodom. Are you not thinking about the human race here.
  • by snake bite Location: tallahassee on Aug 23, 2011 at 06:09 AM
    If the state spends any money on this stupid idea, we as citizens must know our days are numbered. 1st it was alligators, then bears now rattle snakes LORD help us.
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