Save the Critically Endangered Santa Catalina Rattlesnake

Target: Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources

Goal: Protect the critically endangered Santa Catalina rattlesnake from going extinct.

The Santa Catalina rattlesnake (Crotalus catalinensis) is a rattlesnake—actually known for its lack of a rattle—endemic to the Mexican Isla Santa Catalina, a rocky island in the Gulf of California which is its only known habitat.

Once more populous than they are now, the snakes have been labeled as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and remain in that category today. Past and current threats to the snake have caused its numbers to dramatically decline, and mainly consist of two outstanding issues: the introduction of non-native predators and the illegal collection or over-collection of individual reptiles, whether for the illegal pet trade or other purposes.

On this topic the IUCN clarifies that, “Since the 1950s… Santa Catalina had suffered from a gradual loss of biodiversity,” and that, “The species’ highly restricted range, the recent past presence of feral cats, the persecution for illegal trade, the killing by occasional encounters with visitors to the island and the rubbish left by them; [and] its vulnerability caused by the fact that 70% of its diet is composed of the only rodent species on the island, all qualify it for the Critically Endangered category.”

These are all threats which can be remedied through intervention on behalf of the Mexican government and people. Please sign below to express support for protecting the Santa Catalina rattlesnake.


Dear Secretary Alamán,

Please urge your government to take concrete steps to protect the Santa Catalina rattlesnake and all the unique wildlife of Isla Santa Catalina.

This island, being uninhabited, contains a uniquely (and mostly) undisturbed ecosystem. However, for the past several decades the impacts of humans on the island’s ecology have grown considerably: For the Santa Catalina rattlesnake, these impacts have mostly taken on the form of two pervasive issues — (1), the introduction of non-native predators to the island, and (2), the illegal collection or over-collection of individual snakes, whether for the illicit pet trade or otherwise.

This rattlesnake, actually distinct for its lack of a rattle, is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning that it is very close to extinction in the wild. It exists in only one location on the planet — Isla Santa Catalina — and so that island must be better protected in order to ensure its continued existence.


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Photo credit: Anonymous

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One Comment

  1. Please save these snakes!

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