South Carolina biologist track Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes - WNCN: News, Weather

South Carolina biologist track Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes

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Teams at the Francis Marion National Forest are using technology to tag and track the rattlesnakes, not all that different, but much bigger, than a microchip in your pet.

"A transmitter which is implanted in your target snake, a receiver which picks up the signal given and of course antenna and lead wire” said Dr. Clarence Abercrombie who is helping with the search for diamondbacks.

In the past 3 weeks they have found four diamondbacks, but only one was big enough to be tagged and tracked.

Francis Marion Forest biologist, Mark Danaher says the diamondback is found mostly in the southeastern region of the U.S. Danaher says these snakes don't go after people unless they're provoked. "A venomous snake is no different from say a hornets’ nest or a wasps nest. Nobody would go up and batter and try to handle to a hornet's nest so the same care should be given to a snake" said Danaher.

Danaher is hoping our state will follow the lead of North Carolina and add the diamondback to the endangered species list. "I know a lot of people are going to be asking, why would we care about a venomous snake like the eastern diamondback rattlesnake."

He says the answer is quite simple. It's all about balance of the ecosystem.

"If you take a species like the eastern diamondback out of the ecosystem, your rodent and rat populations could go sky high."

It's against the law to collect or kill Eastern Diamondbacks and other animals in the Francis Marion Forest without a permit. Those who are caught could be fined five thousand dollars and face six months in prison.
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