Eastern Diamond Rattlesnake Could Become Protected, Endangered Species
May 15, 2012
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake may receive protection under the Endangered Species Act, according to information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
After a petition filed last year by environmental groups claiming the snake’s population has declined, Fish and Wildlife said more in-depth review will begin to determine if warranted for the largest venomous snake in North America.
The eastern diamondback historically ranged along the coastal lowlands of the southeastern United States from North Carolina to eastern Louisiana, including all of Florida. But now the eastern diamondback is already an endangered species in North Carolina and scientists believe it has all but disappeared from Louisiana.
The decline is attributed to the disappearance of longleaf pine ecosystems in many places and hunting of the snakes for meat, skins and events like the Opp (Ala.) Rattlesnake Rodeo.
It could take the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service months or even years to gather information to make a decision on labeling the eastern diamondback rattlesnake as a protected endangered species.
The Endangered Species act does not preclude a person from acting in self defense to protect themselves or their family.