Sunday, 13 May 2012

Eastern rattlesnake slithers closer to U.S. endangered list



BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, North America's largest venomous snake, may need its own antidote.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering adding the reptile to the Endangered Species List to restrict its hunting, killing and sale.

"We are going to do our best to keep these beautiful animals on the planet with us," said Dan Everson, Deputy Field Supervisor for theU.S. Fish and Wildlife service in Alabama.

The service on Wednesday approved further study on the declining numbers of the snake species.

The study will take 12 months of scientific surveys and public comments to determine if the rattlesnake qualifies for endangered status.

Environmental groups filed a petition last year claiming the snake had vanished from Louisiana, was endangered in North Carolina and becoming harder to find in South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama.

The snakes prefer a long leaf pine forest habitat, which once stretched across 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas, but was now confined to 3 million acres, Everson said.

Also to blame for the snakes' shrinking numbers are events such as Alabama's Opp Rattlesnake Rodeo, environmentalists say.


Continued
:  http://news.yahoo.com/eastern-rattlesnake-slithers-closer-u-endangered-list-191627027.html;_ylt=Ap8PEZsmtnf7vzRcGFrdcMd4hMgF;_ylu=X3oDMTRhazJwdWpsBG1pdANUb3BTdG9yeSBTY2llbmNlU0YgQW5pbWFsUGV0c1NTRgRwa2cDMDI1ZjVkNTEtYTYzZi0zY2NiLTg3YmEtYjE0NjgwNGU2YTM3BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzBiMjY2ODMwLTliOWUtMTFlMS04N2U3LTAxZjdlZTZiMWZlNQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTFlamZvM2ZlBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdAMEcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3

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