Protect Rattlesnake Under Endangered Species Act

arizona-black-rattlesnake-by-charles-miles

Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Deputy Director, Jim Kurth

Goal: Place the Arizona black rattlesnake under the protection of the government and on the endangered species list.

The Arizona black rattlesnake is facing a reduction in population numbers as their range becomes increasingly limited. Currently, these animals are denied protective rights because they are not considered an endangered species. Placing the Arizona black rattlesnake on the endangered species list would allow for governmental supervisions and the implementation of protective measures.

The Arizona black rattlesnake is an apex predator–a predator who is at the top of the food web and is not eaten by any other animals in the ecological community. When an apex predator faces issues, it is often an indication of the status of the rest of the ecosystem.

The drought in Northern America has caused an increased number of wildfires to sweep the landscape. These fires are destructive to the dry forests the Arizona black rattlesnake inhabits, breaking up the land and separating it into smaller parts, reducing the snake’s range. For example, in the last 13 years, the Colorado Plateau has seen a reduction in its forested areas by 27 percent. Researchers suggest this reduction in forest size is evidence of ecosystem vulnerability.

Designating the Arizona black rattlesnake a “threatened” status on the endangered species list would allow local governments and organizations to draft policies surrounding the animal’s needs. Placing regulatory protections around the snakes will help slowly rebuild their numbers. Sign the petition below to demand the Arizona black rattlesnake be placed on the endangered species list.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Kurth,

Populations of Arizona black rattlesnakes are depleting as their habitats are being broken apart and destroyed by wildfires. The wildfires divide the range available for the snakes confining them to smaller and smaller damaged areas that cannot support large, thriving communities. Currently, the snakes are not extended any protective rights and are not recognized as a species threatened with endangerment. In order for these snakes to multiply, they will need increased conservation efforts on the part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.

Placing the Arizona black rattlesnake on the endangered species list will allow government agencies such as yours to implement conservation projects that could not be enacted without these provisions. The needs of this species have been denied for too long. Failing to recognize what adjustments we can make to meet the needs of these animals will result in the eventual extinction of the Arizona black rattlesnake. I demand you place the Arizona black rattlesnake under the protection of the government and on the endangered species list.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Charles Miles

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