Observations of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes solicited

In response to a petition submitted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is reviewing the status of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) to determine whether the species warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened or endangered species.

The petition alleged that development, fragmentation, exclusion of fire, pine plantations, harvest of snakes for their skins, and other factors had contributed to a decline in the species which historically was found in the lower Coastal Plain from North Carolina to Louisiana.

NCASI is currently soliciting information about observations of the snake to improve understanding of its distribution and habitat associations. Individuals encountering an eastern diamondback rattlesnake are invited to complete a short online survey at http://www.ncasi.org/snakesurvey.aspx. The survey web page contains links to photos and other information that will help survey respondents distinguish eastern diamondbacks from the timber rattlesnake.

NCASI will remove any information that would identify individual respondents and/or landowners, including precise locations, before providing results to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Observations submitted to date indicate that the snake is found in both planted and naturally regenerated pine forests, including those dominated by longleaf, loblolly, and slash pine. However, most forest stands where eastern diamondback snakes have been observed have open canopies with abundant sunlight reaching the ground.


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