TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is one that people don't usually categorize as belonging to the Endangered Species list. Quite often, people tend to associate the snake with the sort of animal that's on the giving end of endangerment.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, said it would review the reptile's status, in light of petitioning by several environmental authorities.
There appear to be data indicating that the snake could be facing trouble because of loss of habitat and human predation.
The snakes are prized for their meat and skins, and thee are no bag limits on the number that can be caught in Florida and other southeastern states.
The habitat loss, a reduction of the longleaf pine forests, is adding to the threats faced by this snake. But the rattler isn't the only species threatened.
The loss of habitat is threatening multiple species, which include the red-cockaded woodpecker and the gopher tortoise ... just to name a few.
Protection under the endangered species act would give the animal special protections for as long as the existence of its species was in doubt.
Species are put on the endangered list when there is a real threat of their extinction.