The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is one step closer to federal protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to undertake a one year study to determine if the South Georgia species is endangered.
Bill Matturo is with the South Georgia group, Protect All Living Species, one of the petitioners. He says the endangered listing would end Georgia’s last rattlesnake round-up in Whigham and protect the long-leaf pine habitat where the snakes live.
“They’ve accepted out petition. They say yes, on its face it shows there’s enough scientific evidence that this species is in decline and it’s possibly disappearing. We are then going to start our next step which is our full status review.”
Habitat protection could limit some activities like logging in certain places. It’s estimated just three percent of the snake’s historic population remains.