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S. Florida Rainbow Snake Declared Extinct, Reward Offered to Prove it is Not ^ | 30 Nov 2011 | unattributed

Posted on 11/30/2011 1:47:24 PM PST by smokingfrog

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) declared in October that the South Florida rainbow snake (Farancia erytrogramma seminola) is extinct, but the Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Snake Conservation think otherwise, and have put up a $500 reward to the first person who can document that the snake is not extinct.

Cameron Young, executive director of the Center for Snake Conservation said in a press release that declaring the snake extinct without adequate research is scientifically irresponsible. Young hopes that in offering a reward for valid documentation that the snake is not extinct, the proof will spur conservation efforts to ensure that the reptile survives into the future, and hopefully be returned onto the Endangered Species List.

The center says that USFWS declared the reptile extinct without conducting any focused surveys on the animal in its native habitat in spite of anecdotal evidence that the snake is eating eels in the Fisheating Creek area. By declaring the snake extinct, the species is no longer afforded protections under the Endangered Species Act.

The South Florida rainbow snake is an elusive species that is rarely seen in its native habitat, which is the Fisheating Creek area in Glades County, Florida. It is known from just three specimens, the last which was collected in 1952. Little is known about the snake, though it is believed to be entirely aquatic and active only at night and feeds exclusively on the American eel. There were unconfirmed sightings of the snake in the late 1980s, but no sightings since.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: endangered; extinct; snakes
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To: smokingfrog

I’ll check my low country swamp lagoon - once the alligator hibernates.

Have several species of snakes commuting between the magnolias and the palmettos.

Would be fun to find one - but how would I catch it?

41 posted on 11/30/2011 3:25:01 PM PST by sodpoodle ( Newter the Democrats - top to bottom.)
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To: smokingfrog

:The biologist will identify the snake, collect scales for DNA analysis, and return the snake to the wild unharmed.”

Down to perhaps one snake and the AnencyPerson will “return the snake to the wild unharmed” ? ? ?

Why not have it crossed with the putative trinomial which is available?

The head AgencyPersons will not be pleased - this could have been another excuse for a “captive breeding program” to “bring back from the very brink of extinction” a rare species.


IF such a snake is found, the herpitology community can do the captive breeding successfully (more than AgencyPersons and the ‘academented) can usually manage.

42 posted on 11/30/2011 3:25:14 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: sodpoodle

Put out your rainbow flag and see if it attracts anything.

43 posted on 11/30/2011 4:05:24 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open ( <o> ---)
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To: smokingfrog

I et one fur dinner last night. Can I show you dat proof?

44 posted on 11/30/2011 5:03:24 PM PST by Ingtar
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To: smokingfrog
Beautiful snake ...thx for posting the image and article! 'Hope someone finds a viable population of live ones.

I well remember the one and only time about 15 years ago I came across an eastern mud snake of the same genus. I was doing some early April pre-season turkey scouting when I ran across an adult mud snake that was feeding on some tadpoles at the edge of a large mud puddle on a flooded logging road in Surry County, VA ...strikingly beautiful snake w/very glossy, vivid markings ...must've just shed its skin!

Link to eastern mud snake (Farancia abacura abacura):

45 posted on 11/30/2011 5:07:56 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: smokingfrog

“Fisheating Creek area”

Good memories of camping along an swimming in Fisheating Creek as a kid back in the 70’s.

46 posted on 11/30/2011 5:08:34 PM PST by Rebelbase (Yes we Cain!)
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To: Joe Boucher
Never been to Fisheating Creek; but, have some wonderful pictures of the Osceola subspecies of Wild Turkey taken in that area in one of the books by Dr Lovett Williams. Are you aware of whether he still operates his hunting camp on Fisheating Creek?
47 posted on 11/30/2011 5:15:43 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

Do not know.
I flew over the creek area last week.
Not a soul to be seen.
Wild hog and some deer is all I saw from about 500 feet.

48 posted on 12/01/2011 4:09:29 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy is just a quota boy No RINO's)
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To: Joe Boucher
LOL seems as thought those feral hogs are quite a problem for native wildlife in the Southeast. ‘Hopefully they taste good and that will help to keep their numbers under control.

Thx for the “aerial survey!”

49 posted on 12/01/2011 4:17:13 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Salamander

Hmmmm. Did this white guy with a black sounding forum name (ZULU) smoke out another racist?

50 posted on 12/01/2011 4:44:03 AM PST by ZULU (Anybody but Romney or Huntsman)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

If you are able to capture a wild hog you need to feed it corn for a week to ten days to get the (GOD only knows what) bad diet out and fatten them up a bit.
At the airpark I live at we have a real problem with them wanting to root up the runway.
Any time day or night 365 days a year you can shoot them.
I’ve shot them up to 500 pounds.
You let them fall and after they rot the buzzards take care of them.

51 posted on 12/01/2011 4:51:47 AM PST by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy is just a quota boy No RINO's)
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Sorry but you’ve totally lost me.

52 posted on 12/01/2011 5:24:50 AM PST by Salamander (I'm Wounded, Old And Treacherous.)
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To: Ozymandias Ghost


Gorgeous snake.

53 posted on 12/01/2011 5:26:09 AM PST by Salamander (I'm Wounded, Old And Treacherous.)
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To: Joe Boucher

Buzzards need to eat, too! ...natures’ recycling program.

54 posted on 12/01/2011 6:28:12 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Salamander
Looks like we're in the vast minority here of FR w/regard to our appreciation of members of Suborder Serpentes.

According to the Virginia Herpetological Society the eastern mud snake is only found south/west of the James River in a handful of counties bordering the James and its tributaries here in southeast VA ...a locale they share w/their pit viper cousins the eastern cottonmouth and the canebrake rattlesnake ...although populations of both pit vipers have been documented east of the James on the Peninsula around the City of Newport News.

From what I have read most recently the canebrake rattlesnake is now listed as a color phase of the timber rattlesnake w/regard to taxonomy; but, is considered separately as an endangered species in VA.

Here's a link to the Va Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries info on the canebrake's classification if you're interested:

55 posted on 12/01/2011 7:08:53 AM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

There’s a Suborder Serpentes club?
Why was I not notified?
[is there a Boidae division?]...;D

I know I’ve never seen that beautiful snake here in W.MD.

The grandest thing I’m likely to see is an especially nice Corn or Milk snake..or if I’m really lucky, a particularly great little Ring Neck.

Usually it’s just Garters, Racers and Rats..the letter two of which is usually smashed on the road...:(

The Copperheads and Rattlers stay politely up on the mountains.
[well, except for the baby Copper I kept in a jar for a week when I was a teenager...I told my dad it was a Milk snake and he hates/fears *all* snakes and never checked to see what it really was]...;D

It was his and y neighbor’s fault for the mouse plague we had several years ago.
They so successfully eradicated every snake in the area [including the Garters that hung around in my Willow trees] that the mice just took over]

They finally got the *huge* Rat Snake that’s been here for at *least* 20 years last summer.

I found his decapitated body in the stream bed beside my lane.

That was so sad.

“Snake” [yes, how original] was at least 7 feet long and as big around as Coke can.

He was very beautiful, in his own plain-black-wrapper sort of way.

Every year the Garter snake that lurks near my Koi pond leaves its shed on the rock beside my back door.

Far as I know, since Snake got killed, she/he’s probably the only snake left on the property.

[well, *outside* of the house, anyway]....>:-)

As an aside from, my friend in central VA found an albino Rattler in the woods near her house last summer.

I’m still ragging her for not catching it.
It would be worth a fortune....LOL

56 posted on 12/01/2011 9:55:57 AM PST by Salamander (I'm Wounded, Old And Treacherous.)
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To: Salamander
Well I guess we could form a club ...but something tells me we will have very few members here on FR ...possibly shunned or excommunicated by the rest of the Forum.

Sorry to hear that your neighbors have eradicated the harmless snake population ...I can understand killing a poisonous snake in an area where it is likely to come in contact w/humans or pets ...although, personally, I would choose to relocate it to a remote area if possible. Unfortunately most people can't tell one snake from another; so, naturally, they kill them all our of fear.

I try to let my neighbors know I will gladly be the “go to guy” to remove any snakes from their premises ...usually it's too late, though, by the time I find out someone has already killed another “copperhead” ...last one turned out to be a beautiful young eastern kingsnake; how they thought that was a “copperhead” I will never know ...same/same w/northern brown snakes/ring-necked snakes/mole kingsnakes ...all “copperheads” to the locals.

We have quite a few eastern hog-nosed snakes in the area ...I've caught several in the yard ...last one was a neat melanistic specimen which I relocated to a wooded area on Ft Lee (local Army Post) where I figured he'd have a decent chance for survival. We also have eastern rat snakes, northern water snakes, brown water snakes, garter snakes and rough green snakes ...also saw what was left of a rough earth snake my younger brother killed in his yard down in Chesapeake ...had never seen that species in the wild before (or since). Technically, there are cottonmouths in the local part of the Appomattox River and Copperheads are found throughout most of VA ...I've never seen either in the local neighborhood or the local park that borders the Appomattox. I have seen both species when out in the woods or fishing; but, most of those were down in the feeder creeks on the west bank of the tidal portion of the James River ...cottonmouths are quite common on some of those brackish feeder creeks ...have seen groups of them sunning on logs together down there.

Sounds like a very large rat snake that you had in the yard ...probably consumed a lot of rodents to get that big. Too bad about her ultimate fate's tough if you're a snake.

Be careful w/those “hot” herps ...I leave them to the pro’s; and even they usually get “nailed” eventually. I'm sure you have probably seen photo's of necrotic hands/feet after a bite from a pit viper. I value my extremities waaaay too much to want to expose them to that possibility ...and of course people do die from snakebite or anaphylactic shock from a reaction to the antivenin.

Good luck w/your herping ...and stay safe!

57 posted on 12/01/2011 12:02:52 PM PST by Ozymandias Ghost
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To: Ozymandias Ghost

I’m sure I’m already shunned/excommunicated by some folks for lesser reasons so what’s one more?...LOL

Lucky you to live is such a wonderfully diverse and rich snake environment.

A couple years ago I had to “escort” a water snake down the lane as it slithered in the rain runoff to to junction of two streams near me.

If I hadn’t kept ‘shooing’ it along, eventually somebody else would have seen it and screamed “Cottonmouth!” even though we don’t even *have* them here.

I’ve been sheltering a group of young Northern Water Snakes up in the catfish pond from my dad.

They hang out under the roots of an old pine tree and I’ve dragged brush and whatnot to that area to make it hard for my dad to go around that spot and discover them.

I know how things are there.

Everything brown here is a “Rattlesnake” and everything else that’s tan/red/rust/whatever is a “Copperhead”.

[our Ring Necks are purplish-olive above so I’m not sure how they get mistaken for “killers”...but ya never know...they could be seriously misplaced mutant Kraits].../s

The big rat snake was here when I was a teenager.
My great-uncle lived in the house near mine and I used to visit him and my great aunt during the summer.

We always lifted up the old empty oil drum in the wood shed to see if Snake was under there and it always was, waiting for wood rats or mice to wander by.
[this was back in the 70s, mind you!]

I guess it’s cold comfort that Snake had a really good long run, considering that I first saw him/her over 35 years ago.

That one Copper hatchling was my first and last personal hot experience.
I know my limits.

I observed it for a week and took it into the woods.

[it would’ve gotten lawn-mowed for sure had dad seen it]

I’ve only seen Cottons in Coles Point, VA.
[the Potomac turns brackish, there]

There’s a long pontoon bridge over the bog in the campground of the marina and they were always out sunning themselves or swimming past me as the bridge span sank under the water when I rode my bike across.

One year there was a commotion of the shore of the bog and some guy was beating to death a whole clutch of newly hatched ones.

Never saw the sense in that.

Nobody in their right mind would ever enter their murky, leech-infested world and they never left it.

The neighbor came to the door one day, all grins and pride, to tell me he’d weed-wacked all the garters who draped themselves over the lower branches of the old willow.

I guess I was supposed to be thrilled....:(

I laugh at the thought of of my dad or neighbor coming in and walking through the foyer [or ‘dog trot’ as we call it] and finding themselves “running the gauntlet” past all the snake enclosures.
Worse yet if they open my freezer and wonder what’s in all those weird plastic bags.

[I always was a “problem child”]


58 posted on 12/01/2011 5:07:04 PM PST by Salamander (I'm Wounded, Old And Treacherous.)
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Garder snakes are good luck if you find one in your flower garden...I had one that lived in my front flower garden for a couple of years and then found it dead in front of my other flower garden...I think one of my dogs got it...:O( Just killed not eaten. Maybe it might have been a coon..Hate coons...

59 posted on 12/01/2011 5:19:49 PM PST by goat granny
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