Status Review for eastern diamondback rattlesnake

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has published its “90 Day Finding on a Petition to List the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake as Threatened” (Federal Register May 10, 2012, pp. 27403-27411). The Finding was prepared in response to a listing petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). The Service has determined that the CBD petition presented substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that listing may be warranted. Therefore, the Service is initiating a Status Review to determine if the petitioned action is warranted and will issue a 12-month finding based on the review.

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) is recognized by its large size, diamond patterned dorsal (upper) side, yellowish unpatterned underbelly, dark tail with rattle, and infrared sensitive pit between the eye and nostril. It is the largest rattlesnake in the world, with adults typically 4 to 5 feet in length and weighing 4 to 5 pounds. The species’ historical range encompasses the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States from North Carolina to southern Florida, and west to Mississippi and Louisiana. The 90-day finding emphasizes the importance of fire-maintained longleaf pine forests as habitat and cites several assertions in the petition about the adverse effects of planted forests on the species. Written comments will be accepted by the Service through July 9. NCASI will be preparing technical comments in response to this 90-day finding.

Contact information