Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Daniel Ashe
Goal: List the desert massasauga rattlesnake as an endangered species so that its population may be protected
The desert massasauga rattlesnake is a distinctive creature found in the grasslands of the Great Plains. However, this unique snake has been under threat. Fear of the rattlesnake has led to the senseless killing of the desert massasauga in what are known as “rattlesnake roundups.” Still, this rattlesnake remains unprotected.
The desert massasauga rattlesnake’s range used to span over many states and into Mexico. The remaining population of the rattlesnake can only be found in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico. While that may seem like many states, the populations within those areas have suffered a decline in numbers.
This rattlesnake depends on the burrows of prairie dogs for hibernation. However, prairie dogs are often persecuted as well. Populations of many different species of prairie dog have also been recorded to be diminished. This lowers the range of the prairie dog, which in consequence affects the desert massasauga rattlesnake. With fewer prairie dog burrows to hibernate in, the rattlesnake’s range is affected as well.
However, the direct persecution of the desert massasauga rattlesnake has had a great influence on the decline of its population. Because of fear, “roundups” in Texas have resulted in the killing of nearly 10,000 snakes in one year. The desert massasauga rattlesnake is a unique creature that deserves federal protection so that these senseless killings can be stopped. By signing the petition below and demanding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protect this species under the Endangered Species Act, we can ensure that the biodiversity and ecosystem of the Great Plains can be sustained.
Dear Director Ashe,
Many people fear venomous creatures and persecute them because of it. In the south, there are events known as “rattlesnake roundups” where people seek to kill as many rattlesnakes as possible. This senseless killing is affecting the population of many species already in critical condition. One species in particular is the desert massasauga rattlesnake.
This rattlesnake is already threatened because of the killing of prairie dogs. The desert massasauga rattlesnake depends on the burrows made from prairie dogs to hibernate in. When prairie dogs are killed, this leaves the rattlesnake vulnerable and diminishes its range.
Please help protect the desert massasauga rattlesnake by listing it as an endangered species. More must be done to protect this unique creature and ensure the diversity of the Great Plains. By protecting it by law, people who senselessly kill these creatures can be prosecuted.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: TimVickers via Wikimedia Commons