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.


43 Responses to “Eastern Diamond Rattlesnake Could Become Protected, Endangered Species”

  1. David Huie Green on May 17th, 2012 6:20 pm

    The red nose thing is good but I favor a poetic warning:

    If a snake you see,
    Leave it be.

    The same thought works for gators, gunmen, drunks and crazy women.

    David for rapid retreat

  2. NWFLA Linda on May 17th, 2012 1:20 pm

    ngd – another way to identify a coral from a scarlet king snake is to remember, just like Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer (OK, I can hear the snickering from everyone), a red nosed snake is a friendly critter. Because if you’re like me, by the time I get the rhyme right about what color on what color is bad or good for Jack or me or anyone else, it’s too late. But Rudolph with the red nose I can remember!

  3. JDMorris on May 16th, 2012 10:42 pm

    Where is your sense of adventure, in our area we don’t have irate grizzly bears, cougars or black bear moms with cubs. If we loose the diamondback we won’t have anything left but some old sow with piglets to keep us in shape. In my yard they belong to me as two discovered last summer. the last one my grandson found was five feet long and was transporting 24 embryos, yes I checked. I don’t kill every one I come accross, depending on where he is at I might just send him on his merry way.Everyone needs a little drama in their life, keeps the artery’s cleaned out, not so much for the underpants though.

  4. in the woods on May 16th, 2012 10:04 am

    i live in the woods , on a dirt road, and yes we have our fair share out here..and yes we kill them, and ye we will continue to kill the nasty lil things!!! we have has several friend to get bit’n by them, luckly they are still alive… my daughter walked up on a rattler the other day, scared her to death! and i wold hate for these small kids to get bit by 1….

    so long story shorty…they have no chance of survival if the are in my yard or on the road where i drive!!!

  5. 429SCJ on May 16th, 2012 6:37 am

    It appears I was misinformed. The rattlesnake rodeo in Opp Alabama is alive and well and appers to have never missed a beat.

    The stock car race is 200 miles and they also have a 5K run. The event has it’s own

  6. z on May 16th, 2012 6:10 am

    The Opp Rattlesnake rodeo is alive and well. They just had it a few weeks ago.

  7. Jane on May 16th, 2012 5:41 am

    Snakes are probably the most misunderstood creature. First, they eat an enormous amount of rodents every year. Second, they would rather leave than bite you, so watch where you are stepping!!! As for killing black snakes (and other non -poisonious snakes) you are killing a snake which eats poisonious snakes and rodents, he is your friend and if it weren’t for these snakes our farms would be overrun with mice/rats! Educate yourself before you kill off the creatures God put here for a reason…they are part of the eco system.

  8. David Huie Green on May 16th, 2012 5:31 am

    ” the devil created the ugly things”

    Actually, theologically speaking
    Colossians 1:16
    For by him (Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

    David concerning confusion
    regarding Creator

  9. 429SCJ on May 16th, 2012 12:39 am

    Does anyone remember the rattlesnake rodeos up in Opp Alabama, fried rattler meat and the Rattler 400 at the speedway? These guys would spit a mouthfull of gasoline
    down a gopher hole to drive the snakes out.

    This activity was discontinued in the 80s, because of declining snake populations.
    Im going to google this and see what they say on the subject.

  10. wade on May 16th, 2012 12:23 am

    i kill everthing i see.. even black snakes oak snakes you name it even red on black a friend of jacks…..

  11. just my words on May 15th, 2012 10:04 pm

    they may put them on the endanger list, but a snake is a snake. any type i come across and get the chance to KILL it that’s what I’m going to do…. the devil created the ugly things and i have no problem killing em…

  12. David Huie Green on May 15th, 2012 9:21 pm

    “- – - how to recognize venomous snakes. (David wants us to be proper).”

    Remember David don’t care since I consider “poisonous” and “venomous” close enough, coming from the same word and all.

    Meanwhile, I too have chipmunks — cute little things — and cats running around which kill and eat both snakes and chipmunks and squirrels and rabbits and one even chases the deer in the field.

    FREE CATS (if you can catch ‘em, you can keep ‘em)

    My cousin, Billy Lovelace, likes to eat the rattlesnakes so HE doesn’t want them extinct.

    David considering lack of feline conscience

  13. Hoppy on May 15th, 2012 5:54 pm

    I will advise the serpent of his rights with a shovel since he probably doesn’t speak English.

    Red, blue, purple, green or yellow
    That snake is a dead fellow.

    There is a gozzillion acres of piney woods for snakes to occupy. If they are in my yard then obviously it’s overflowing. Not extinct. I don’t have a mouse problem so I don’t need his help on that. If that makes me an ignorant redneck then I plead guilty. I am not responsible for the earth. Just my yard.

  14. hawghead on May 15th, 2012 5:45 pm

    You don’t have to be a “tree hugging liberal” to understand why this proposal is being brought up….Rattlesnakes serve a very usefull purpose in nature…They help to keep the varmit population down…I have dealt with many rattlesnakes in my 50 yrs. and I have learned that they are not aggressive by nature…They will strike if they feel threatened but they do not seek out humans to bite….If all the rattlesnakes are killed off then everyone would start complaining about the huge population of varmits in their yard…I don’t blame people for killing them it’s just the way we were taught….

  15. Scott on May 15th, 2012 5:14 pm

    If it’s on MY back porch, it’s dead. Endangered or not.

  16. Thiago on May 15th, 2012 4:59 pm

    The difference between venom and poison is that venom is injected and poison is swallowed. Snake venom, if taken by mouth is generally harmless but, if you swallow poison, you generally die, although I imagine that you can inject poison and die also.

  17. thinker3 on May 15th, 2012 4:41 pm

    I have little grandkids in the yard all the time. What you don’t know is that rattlers,
    copperheads, and mocassins are indangered species. If they’re in my yard, they’re IN DANGER.
    Seriously though I,m trying to teach them how to recognize venomous snakes. (David wants us to be proper). The woods next to us are full of chipmunks which is attracting several varieties of snakes. Reckon I could get a burn permit?

  18. nina on May 15th, 2012 2:06 pm

    I’m going to protect my yard and my grandkids!!

  19. DJC on May 15th, 2012 12:33 pm

    @ Safebear:

    My dad always said he hated all three types of snakes:

    Live ones
    Dead ones &
    Sticks that look like em’

  20. C on May 15th, 2012 12:24 pm

    We could always load them up and ship them to the yards of those who want them.

  21. David Huie Green on May 15th, 2012 12:19 pm

    “ngd, you are aware there are no such things as poisionous snakes, right?
    Venomous yes – poisionous no. Splitting hairs I know, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.”

    Actually, since venom means poison, any venomous snake is poisonous, by definition since venom is a subset of the concept of poison.

    Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation
    which says in part:

    ven·om [vénnəm]
    1. poisonous fluid injected by animal: a poisonous fluid produced by an animal and injected into prey or attackers by a bite or sting.
    Venoms are produced by a wide range of animals, including snakes, scorpions, spiders, and fish.
    2. malice: malice, spite, or vicious hostility

    [13th century. Via Old French venim < Latin venenum "poison"]

    David for reintroducing ratlers to Central Park, NYC, NY

  22. Thinker on May 15th, 2012 10:58 am

    I’ve helped them cross highways. They have a right to live. Given what WE are doing to this planet, I’m not so sure we have the same right, when all is said and done.

    I will not kill ANY snake. I will remove a poisonous one from around people but never kill one if I can catch it instead. There is no better rodent control out there.

  23. Dennis HE Wiggins on May 15th, 2012 10:42 am

    Several commented about rattlesnakes eating rats. While you are correct, we have other snakes – plentiful might i add – that do that too. Take, for insatnce – the RAT snake! The best thing for people to do is to educate themselves on the four poisonous snakes we have in this area & leave everything else alone! Ignorance is the biggest enemy we have.

  24. Lawson Berry on May 15th, 2012 10:30 am

    Once upon a time, I killed every rattler I came across. Now, I try NOT to kill them. They do NOT hunt you up to bite you. They will sneak away if you let them. They do occasionally bite a person or an animal, but it us usually in self defense. The snake usually loses any battle with a human. It is in the snake’s best interest to stay out of my yard. I will also kill a grey rat snake if he is messing with my bluebirds.

  25. Wow...really???? on May 15th, 2012 10:09 am

    Yeah there are snake repellents but guess what there is also poisons for rodents too and dogs and cats…so as far as I’m concerned snakes of any sort will be dead I have an infant that likes to play outside so if I see one its dead!!!!

  26. Safebear on May 15th, 2012 9:53 am

    @ngd –

    “Red on Yellow, Kill a fellow
    Red on Black, a friend of Jack”

    hope that helps.

    I’ll add that there are only 2 kinds of snakes that scare me, dead ones and live ones. The dead ones will make me jump and hurt myself and the live ones can bite LOL. I don’t kill them though unless they are a threat.

  27. Friction against the machine on May 15th, 2012 9:30 am

    More tree hugging liberals wanting you to keep a dangerous snake in your yard. Years ago I stayed at Ft Pickens campground and a mocassin entered the camp… a ranger supposedly gave the man a snake catching pole…can u imagine how dangerous that was?

  28. snake handler on May 15th, 2012 9:23 am

    ngd, you are aware there are no such things as poisionous snakes, right?
    Venomous yes – poisionous no. Splitting hairs I know, but it’s a pet peeve of mine.

    And if you have a problem remembering which is a coral and which is a milk or king snake – there are two ways to remember it:
    1. The rhyme – red on black friend of jack, red on yellow, kills a fellow.
    2. think of a traffic light. The two colors that serve as a warning are red and yellow. They are next to eachother.

  29. sniper on May 15th, 2012 9:16 am

    lets ask south florida about their python problem!!! im sure there is something else out there that will eat mice/rats…

  30. C on May 15th, 2012 8:58 am

    I’m hoping for extinct!

  31. ngd on May 15th, 2012 8:52 am

    I’m sorry, but if I see a rattlesnake he might as well say goodbye…I do not kill other snakes only poisonous ones…The other snakes eat rodents also…The king snake will eat a rattlesnake…educate yourself on poisonous snakes and what they look like…I still have a problem with telling the coral snakes apart from other snakes of that color.

  32. bob hudson on May 15th, 2012 8:35 am

    Rodent problem? Get a out side cat or two.

  33. Hmm... on May 15th, 2012 7:57 am

    @Molino Momma:
    You should fear rodents even more than snakes. Granted, in a clean, captive environment, they can be cute and even serve a purpose for mankind. In the wild, however, they can be the cause of a hantavirus outbreak, just to name one of many possibilities, and you don’t even have to see or touch them. Their pellets age and dry up, you sweep and inhale the dust, and you’re infected. Do a web search on what diseases wild rodents can carry and spread; you may appreciate anything that kills them a little more. At least snakes are a little easier to keep away from your house, as there are more than a few things you can put out in the yard to repel them.

  34. I Hate Snakes!!!! on May 15th, 2012 7:33 am

    That’s a NASTY picture I had to look at upon logging on to my favorite morning read! William couldn’t you have just told the story without the picture? LOL! Everyone is intitled to their own opinion, but I pass on snakes, having had two members of my family bitten on our own turf by a ground rattler and moccasin. Not a pretty sight! Just my thoughts.

  35. deBugger on May 15th, 2012 7:29 am

    God created all creatures for a reason & a purpose. This one He gave a built-in warning system, also for a reason.

  36. bob hudson on May 15th, 2012 7:12 am

    Fine, as long as he stays out of my yard I have no problem with this.But should Mr. R attles wonder in to the wrong area, He shall be dealt with as a threat. Your right Sam, its a dead snake.

  37. MolinoMomma on May 15th, 2012 7:08 am

    If it comes in my yard around my kids, IT’s DEAD!!! @Dean-I don’t fear that a mouse is gonna kill one of my children. So YOU can keep the snakes.

  38. Kathy on May 15th, 2012 7:04 am

    Dominion means responsibility not free will to kill out of fear and ignorance. People in this end of the county think it means they can leave more than few old broken down cars in the yard which attracts rodents and eventually snakes, they think it means they can pollute and kill whatever whenever. Never once thinking it makes you responsible for the earth and its goodness.

  39. 429SCJ on May 15th, 2012 7:04 am

    Dean I agree on rattlers and rodents. I think most people are just frightened at the
    sight of these snakes and respond as such.

    Avis, Dbell absolutely, let us also remember 1 John 3:12 Be not like Caine who is
    from the evil one.

  40. Dean on May 15th, 2012 6:43 am

    With the decline of the rattlesnake population we will see an increase in the rodent population. I, for one would rather see snakes in the wild than rats in my house or yard.

  41. sam on May 15th, 2012 6:36 am

    fish and wildlife can do and say what they want. in my yard it’s a dead snake.

  42. Avis Albritton on May 15th, 2012 3:44 am

    Genesis 1: 26 – And God said, Let “us make
    ‘man in our image, after our ‘likeness:
    and let them have ‘dominion
    over the fish of the sea, and over the
    fowl of the air, and over the cattle,
    and over all the earth, and over
    every creeping thing that creepeth
    upon the earth.

  43. Dbell on May 15th, 2012 12:41 am

    And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

    And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Genesis 3:14-15

    Poor old rattlesnake lives under a curse because of an ancestor’s bad choice, just like we do. God put them here for a reason. I drive around them when I see one crossing the highway, once every few years. Used to see them all the time, rarely do now. Not to say I won’t bruise his head if he comes into my yard and threatens me or my pets, but otherwise I let them be.

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