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Snakes In TROUBLE

Discussion in 'General Venomous' started by STS101, Mar 2, 2006.

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  1. STS101

    STS101 New Member

    Snakes are in trouble! Over 50 different snake species are now listed on the World Conservation Union’s Redlist of Threatened Species and there are still many more endangered snakes all over the world, and some snakes like the Round Island Burrowing Boa are already thought to be extinct. Many other snakes could also be on their way to extinction.
    There are a few main reasons why snakes are becoming endangered. The first and probably the most important is habitat loss. The over-development of our world is taking a huge toll on snakes. All the boas in the Islands of the West Indies are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss. This area was once rich in lush forest but now these forests are reduced to scrapes. These snakes are now confined to live in patches of forests protected by the local government. Such small areas may not be able to support the snakes.

    Even worse is if a natural disaster, like a hurricane or fire, ever hit and destroyed these habitats, these snakes would be left with no where to live and would almost certainly die. In places that get winters snakes hibernate in dens known as hibernacula, and many snakes return year after year, sometimes in huge numbers, to the same dens. As humans continue to destroy habitats for construction, many of these snake dens may be destroyed. When the winter comes the snakes go looking for their dens which are now gone living the snakes to freeze to death if they cannot find a new suitable shelter. This brings up another problem. The snakes often find shelters in basements through a broken window or cracks in the foundation. This puts the snakes in danger of coming in contact with people, and almost all surprise encounters between people and snakes end with the snakes being killed on sight. This is the second big problem snakes face…death from people due to fear and a lack of understanding. The Timber rattlesnake for example use to exist in Canada but it was purposely killed off by snake hunters who hated snakes.

    The barbaric murder of snakes continues all over the world. Over 80,000 rattlesnakes were killed in Texas in less then 17 years during rattlesnake round-ups. Rattlesnakes round-ups are festivals where people go out and murder as many snakes as they can for no real reason. These round-ups happen all over the US. During these round-ups people will poor buckets of gasoline down burrows where they think rattlesnakes may be hiding, killing any snakes or any other creatures living in the burrows. Each year there are about 30 rattlesnake round-ups that are held in seven states. Although exact numbers are not known it is estimated that over 30,000 snakes are killed during these every year. The thoughtless Killings of snakes goes beyond just rattlesnake round-ups. I cannot tell you how many times people have come up to me and told me that they or someone they know hates snake so much that when they see them on their lawn or around there house they go over and chop their heads of with a shovel. Many people will also kill snakes they see sunning themselves on the road by purposely running them over. In Australia 109 snakes were found dead on a 9,000 km stretch of road. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of snakes are killed on roads every year worldwide. So why are people killing snakes? Well the main reason is fear.

    People may fear snakes because they think they may be dangerous. Most snakes are harmless though... out of the nearly 3,000 kinds of snake in the world only a small handful are dangerous to people. Even out of these, most dangerous bites from venomous snakes happen to people who are trying to capture or kill the snake ’’playing hero’, or happen to people who keep venomous snakes in their homes as pets. The other big group of people who get bitten by snakes are people who work with snakes like zoologists. Snakes are actually very helpful to people; snakes help control rodent and insect populations and the so called ‘’scary’’ venomous snakes are helping to save the lives of millions of people every year. Snake venom is being used to treat all sorts of diseases like heart & stroke disease, Parkinson’s, and even cancer.

    The final main reason why snakes are becoming endangered is money. Many snakes are captured or killed every year to make money. Snake skins and snake products result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of snakes ever year. Over 300,000 snake skins and snake products were imported to the UK in just one year, that’s over 300,000 in just one country in one year! In China as many as 100,000 Cobras are killed ever year for there skin. That’s just one kind of snake, in one country, in one year!

    Another money making threat to snakes is the pet trade. Tens of thousands of snakes are caught from the wild for the pet trade ever year. These snakes many include critically endangered snakes like the San Fran Garter Snake. Many of these snakes die either due to poor conditions they are kept in by importers or by their new owners who also fail to give the snakes’ proper care. In the US it is estimated that well over 50,000 Ball pythons die every year in captivity due to improper care. It you are going to get a pet snake…MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF IT BEFORE YOU GET IT, not after! It is also important to make sure to buy only captive breed snakes…not ones taken out of the wild.

    We must all try to do our part to help snakes if they are going to continue to survive! The number of snake supports is far less then that of other animals like bears or tigers as snakes are not seen as cute or cuddly, that’s why everyone counts when it comes to snake conservation!

    Snakes are very helpful creatures and they deserve better then the constant persecution they face. I have here a list of ways in which we can all help snakes and I hope you will all take a moment to look over it. Together we can make a difference for nature’s most misunderstood creature!


    For Info on how you can help please go to

    http://www.freewebs.com/savethesnakes101/howyoucanhelp.htm

    Please sign the following petition to help stop the murder of rattlesnakes during rattlesnake round-ups! It’s free and can be done in seconds!

    http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?roundups&1
     
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