timber rattlesnackes delisted - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
Regular Visitor
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: wpa
Posts: 93
Back To Top
timber rattlesnackes delisted

Harrisburg — Timber rattlesnakes are in trouble in a lot of states across the Northeast, that much everyone seemed to agree on.

What that should mean in terms of management of the species in Pennsylvania was more contentious.

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commissioners, acting on the advice of their staff, took the timber rattlesnake off the candidate list at their July meeting. That list is reserved for species that are thought to be in danger of becoming threatened or endangered.

That was the case for the timber rattlesnake back in 1978, when it went on the list, said Chris Urban, chief of the agency’s wildlife diversity section. It’s not now, he said.

A number of rules changes meant to protect the species – a limited hunting season, a reduction in annual harvest to one per person, minimum size restrictions meant to protect females and juveniles – and an increase in public education to teach more people to tolerate the snakes account for that, he said.

Urban said the numbers back that up.

A statewide assessment of timber rattlesnakes done between 2003 and 2014 – despite not accounting for 25 percent of the state that’s proven inaccessible for various reasons – found them to be “secure across their range,” Urban said.

In fact, he said, that work and anecdotal evidence from snake hunters, who these days report finding more of the venomous creatures than at any time in recent decades, indicates they’re doing very well.

“That’s not a species on the decline. That’s a species in recovery,” Urban said.

Some others disagreed.

A technical committee of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey – made up of scientists from the commission, academia and elsewhere – voted on two occasions to delist the snakes here. Neither vote was unanimous, however.

One member who voted against delisting said as much in a letter to the commission board.

“I believe that delisting the timber rattlesnakes at this time is premature and contrary to the wise conservation management of this species,” wrote Howard Reinart, a biology professor from the College of New Jersey who’s been studying the snakes here for decades.

He cited a number of reasons for his opposition. They included threats from “wanton persecution” to lack of a habitat management program to the fact that a “robust long-term population monitoring program” has just begun and won’t be finished for years.

He also suggested that because Pennsylvania is home to more timber rattlesnakes than any other state around it, the commission needs to manage it as a “responsibility species.”

That was one of the arguments made on behalf of two other groups by people testifying in person at the meeting.

Spokeswomen for the Mountain Watershed Association in Fayette County and Delaware Riverkeeper Network of Bucks County also recommended commissioners delay acting on the delisting proposal.

Melissa Marshall of the Watershed Association said delisting would be a “big mistake” because of the “many and varied” threats the species faces, none of which the commission has adequately addressed.

In all, 73 people submitted public comments prior to the meeting; 71 opposed delisting. Another 2,200 or so letters in opposition came in after the public comment period ended. Those were form letters generated by a story on the website of the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based organization that bills itself as using “science, law and creative media” to protect species.

It urged people to submit the form letter and “tell the Fish & Boat Commission that now is not the time to give up on timber rattlesnake recovery.”

Commissioners, though, went ahead anyway, saying they were putting their trust in the science collected by their staff.

That work found timber rattlesnakes in 51 of the state’s 67 counties. Populations in the central part of the state in particular are very dense, Urban said, to the point of being perhaps greater than anywhere else in the North.

There are a few spots, in the northwest corner of the state, where localized populations may be less than they once were, he said.

“But it’s not a regional assessment. You don’t look at one spot. You look across the whole state,” he said.

Commissioners Bill Sabatose, of Elk County, and Len Lichvar, of Somerset, said that was good enough for them. Lichvar said he was willing to link his reputation to that of Urban and his staff because of his faith in their work.

Commission Executive Director John Arway said delisting the timber rattlesnake does not mean the agency is turning its back on it.

“We’re not going to let down our guard,” he added.

The commission has plans in place to continue monitoring the species, he said. If populations ever decline, Arway noted, the commission can make changes accordingly.

In the meantime, the rattlesnake’s delisting is good news, said Dave Spotts, a retired employee of the agency. Once director of the Bureau of Environmental Services, he said a lot of people worked very hard for a lot of years to get to this point.

“This is our bald eagle. It’s a great day in conservation,” Spotts said
gobble561 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-24-2016, 11:34 PM
Frequent Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Southcentral PA
Posts: 982
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

There seems to be a larger number of them in the woods these days. Ran into one this turkey season, had 2 around the cabin within the last couple years, had a run in with one on the AT about 4 years ago, and my sister just took a couple pictures of one at Quarry Gap Shelter on the AT. A couple years ago we saw 3 different rattlers within about 1 square mile within 3 days. All of this in Michaux State Forest. I believe the only area in PA that you cannot hunt them.

Enjoy life and take a hike on the AT.
Michaux Hunter is offline  
post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 12:18 AM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pa
Posts: 496
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

I hope the PFBC keeps the season dates and limit the same. One 42" or greater male per tag. Between now and mid September is when these rattlers are most susceptable to these wanton killings. Getting sighted on roads heading back to their dens. With all of the people against this delisting they still went ahead With their decision. Boy, I hope they know what they are doing.
Little Big Man is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 01:00 AM
Diehard Outdoorsman
 
HammerDown15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: State College
Posts: 2,980
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

I'd have to guess the gas industry had something to do with this. Shame

Huntin Bucks and Crushin Ducks
HammerDown15 is offline  
post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 11:33 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: erie, pa
Posts: 12,278
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDown15
I'd have to guess the gas industry had something to do with this. Shame

http://www.thebreastcancersite.com
go here click on the pink square, beat breast cancer
bohunr is offline  
post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 01:49 PM
The Man
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,481
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDown15
I'd have to guess the gas industry had something to do with this. Shame
Obamacare. They picked one up in the hospital parking lot in Wellsboro yesterday.
Curly Maple is offline  
post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-25-2016, 10:58 PM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pa
Posts: 496
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

When it was said "this is our bald eagle. It's a great day in conservation" tells me that someone wants to put a feather in their cap for the rattlesnake recovery program. Something smells fishy. There were 71 of 73 experts opposed to this delisting. 2200 letters were sent opposing it. Political? Maybe. But the drilling is all but dried up in the core snake areas. I would say someone in the program is probably ready to retire and wants to go out in style.
Little Big Man is online now  
post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 10:16 AM
The Man
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 6,481
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

Maybe the situation has evolved to the point where management units need to established? Along with them season duration and bag limits adjustments?

Do you suppose there is a difference between what biologists desire, and what home/property owners will tolerate?
Curly Maple is offline  
post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 11:47 AM
Hooked on HuntingPa
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Pa
Posts: 496
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

Home owners already do not tolerate a rattlesnakes on their property. They SSS them all of the time. Rattlesnake haters do not tolerate them and will kill them on site where ever they are. They kill garter snakes for crying out loud, just because it's a friggin snake. I really hope they do not change the season and bag limits. I would like to see people get more educated and see that the timber rattler is a facinating, very docile creature that is misunderstood mainly due to all of the prejudice.
Little Big Man is online now  
post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 08-26-2016, 12:57 PM
The Man
 
steelhead125's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Steeler Country 2D/2C
Posts: 7,919
Back To Top
Re: timber rattlesnackes delisted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Big Man
Home owners already do not tolerate a rattlesnakes on their property. They SSS them all of the time. Rattlesnake haters do not tolerate them and will kill them on site where ever they are. They kill garter snakes for crying out loud, just because it's a friggin snake. I really hope they do not change the season and bag limits. I would like to see people get more educated and see that the timber rattler is a facinating, very docile creature that is misunderstood mainly due to all of the prejudice.
I get what your saying and have tremendous respect for them and think they're pretty awesome. At the same time there are areas I deer hunt that I won't go near this time of year because I have seen too many to feel comfortable walking around. Also, I have young kids and if there was ever one living in my woodpile behind the house it would be a sure bet that I would kill it.

I know they are docile creatures but if your in an area that has an abundance of them you have to be super careful at all times.

Darton DS-3800
Public Land Hunter
steelhead125 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome