Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Report Sightings of Rare Snakes To Florida Fish and Wildlife

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists are asking the public to report sightings of three rare snake species: Florida pine snake, southern hognose snake, and short-tailed snake.  Citizens can help with research on these species by reporting sightings online.

“Reports from the public will aid us in determining where these snakes live and their status,” said Kevin Enge, FWC research biologist.

All of these snake species have been petitioned for federal listing.

The three species are found in dry, upland habitats and spend most of their time underground.  They are only occasionally seen moving along the surface or crossing a road.
Florida Pine Snake. Image Credit: FWC
The Florida pine snake is distributed throughout Central Florida, including Brevard County, with the exception of Osceola County:
Map Credit: FWC

Short-tailed Snake. Image Credit: FWC
The short-tailed snake is distributed in only some parts of Central Florida, including Orange and Seminole counties:
Map Credit: FWC

The southern hog-nose snake is distributed throughout Central Florida, including south Brevard County, with the exception of north Brevard and east Volusia County:
Map Credit: University of Florida

For each report, the citizen is asked to provide the location where they saw the snake and the month and year the observation occurred. Researchers are also requesting citizens to submit photos of the snakes, when possible, to verify identification.

Reports can include live or dead animals.

Although these species are nonvenomous, citizens should avoid handling or disturbing them.

For more information about living with snakes and to submit sightings to the FWC, visit MyFWC.com/Conservation, select “How You Can Conserve,” and choose “Snakes” under “Living with Wildlife.”