Respect for Rattlesnakes

Each year, tens of thousands of rattlesnakes are taken from the wild to be displayed and slaughtered for entertainment and profit at rattlesnake roundups. Professional hunters, not bound by ‘bag’ or ‘take’ limits, remove snakes from their native habitats and are awarded with cash prizes for bringing in the most and biggest snakes. Most snakes are caught by pouring gasoline into their winter dens, which pollutes surrounding land and water and may impact up to 350 other wildlife species.

Science does not support claims that roundups are required to prevent rattlesnake overpopulation. Like other wild animals with natural predators, snake populations are maintained by prey abundance (rodents) and levels of predation and disease. Unlike traditional game hunting, there is no monitoring or reporting to regulate this slaughter of snakes, which has likely contributed to the decline in some rattlesnake species.

 

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