Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake Survey

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been petitioned to list the eastern diamondback rattlesnake as a threatened or endangered species. The eastern diamondback is found in the lower Coastal Plain from South Carolina to Alabama, and historically in Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina. As the Service reviews the status of the eastern diamondback, the National Council for Air & Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI), a scientific research organization that provides technical information on environmental issues for the forest products sector, is gathering data to improve understanding of its distribution and habitat associations.

Large wild Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake

The primary objective of the survey is to document the range of forest conditions occupied by eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. NCASI will collate and analyze survey results, and provide a summary report to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

NOTE: NCASI will remove any information that would identify individual respondents and/or landowners, as well as precise locations.

Distinguishing characteristics of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake are:

  • crisp thin yellow diamonds on its back enclosing black pigment centered with brown
  • densely black face with two thin slanted yellow lines on either side of the black eye
  • olive-brown tail never with bold black and white “coon tail” bands

These photos (PDF file) will help you to identify the eastern diamondback rattlesnake and distinguish it from the timber (or canebrake) rattlesnake.

If you encounter an eastern diamondback rattlesnake, NCASI would greatly appreciate your participation in the survey. Observe the snake only from a safe distance. 

Take the survey online 

Questions about this project may be directed to Angie Larsen-Gray at gro.isacn@yarg-nesrala.