"Rattlesnake roundups" are cruel contests where hunters bring in as many wild snakes as they can catch in a year; afterwards the snakes are slaughtered and sold for their skin and meat.
They're a serious problem -- one that many people don't even know exist. Roundups in the Southeast, for example, are driving sharp declines of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, which is the target of contests in Whigham, Ga., and Opp, Ala. In response to a Center petition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found that eastern diamondbacks may now need Endangered Species Act protection.
Across the country rattlers play a key role in the food web, especially in terms of rodent control. And because hunters often use gasoline to drive snakes from their dens, roundups are also harmful to hundreds of other species that share their homes with the snakes. In Texas, 20 endangered species living underground can be harmed by suffocating gas fumes, which is why the Center recently petitioned to end "gassing" of Texas snake dens.
Please sign our petition asking communities to change their roundups to festivals where snakes are celebrated and admired -- not hunted and killed.
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Please take action by Jan. 25, 2018.
Photo by eastern diamondback rattlesnake courtesy NPS.
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