Showing posts with label eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. Show all posts

Friday, March 9, 2012

Suzio Report 3/09/12


Howdy Herpers, 03/09/12
We'll get the bummer news out of the way first, and hopefully, follow up with the fun stuff soon.
It appears that our lone Mojave Rattlesnake met Mr. Badger out in paradise.
Pic 1: Male Crotalus scutulatus #1, "Blake the Snake" in situ on 28 September 2011. This was the best image that I was able to get of him during the 8 months that he was under watch.

Pic 2: On 11 November, Blake the Snake moved into his hibernaculum. The hole just to the right of the flag was the K-rat hole that he utilized.
Pic 3: On 20 February, John Slone and I tracked him, and found the evidence that Blake the Snake had been attacked. The hole is distinctly badger shaped. The dirt pile in front of the hole was undisturbed by us for this shot, but there doesn't seem to much in the way of tracks to verify "badger" for sure. Does anybody else think anything other than badger? We got the impression our snake was still alive at this point.
Pic 4: The smoking gun. On 3 March, I noted that the hole had been enlarged slightly. Whatever was digging moved to the left a bit, and scored. The transmitter was buried about 1 inch under the loose soil. Note that there is a bite mark on the "L" of the serial number on the transmitter. Can you imagine digging face first into the maw of a scut lair? That's a scary way to make a living!
Pic 5: "And you flowers bloom like madness in the spring............."

Best to all, roger

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Center for Biological Diversity Calls on Georgia to End Rattlesnake Round-Ups

Georgia Officials Called on to End Cruel, Dangerous Rattlesnake Roundups


ATLANTA— The Center for Biological Diversity and allies today sent a letter to Georgia wildlife officials urging them to enforce laws that protect both animals and people at “rattlesnake roundups” — annual contests in which hunters bring in as many snakes as they can catch in a year to be milked for venom, butchered, then sold for meat and skin. Two roundups take place every year in Georgia — one in Whigham in January, the other in Claxton in March. The letter was sent to local law-enforcement officials, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and roundup sponsors.

Georgia state law requires that anyone who possesses a wild rattlesnake obtain a “wild animal license” from the Department of Natural Resources. For the sake of both animal welfare and public safety, the law requires those who keep wild rattlesnakes to buy liability insurance and treat the snakes humanely. The groups’ letter, sent by the Center, Coastal Plains Institute and Land Conservancy, and One More Generation, asks that appropriate law-enforcement measures be taken before and during the roundups to make sure sponsors and participants carry insurance and give the snakes humane treatment.

“Possession of wild rattlesnakes without a license is against the law in Georgia for good, common-sense reasons, and the state needs to make the law real by enforcing it,” said Collette Adkins Giese, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity who works to protect rare and vanishing reptiles and amphibians. “But the best way to stop the abuse of animals, make sure no one gets hurt, and save the eastern diamondback from extinction is to just cancel these roundups. The bottom line is, they’re cruel.”

Rattlesnake roundups are depleting populations of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes: Analysis of data from four roundups in the southeastern United States shows a steady decline in the weights of prize-winning eastern diamondbacks and the number collected. This once-common species is being pushed toward extinction not only by hunting pressure but also by habitat loss and road mortality. In August, the Center and allies filed a petition to protect the snake under the Endangered Species Act.

“Georgia is blessed with a rich natural heritage of animals and plants. All of these species — even the rattlesnakes — should be allowed to exist and play their intended roles in our wild places,” said Adkins Giese. “It’s time to replace rattlesnake roundups with festivals that celebrate wildlife and educate folks on the importance of saving native species.”

In response to dwindling rattlesnake populations and public pressure, the town of Fitzgerald, Ga., has replaced its rattlesnake roundup with a wild chicken festival, which organizers report has been an enormous success.

For a link to photos of eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, please see: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/reptiles/eastern_diamondback_rattlesnake/photos.html.