Conservation success story: Louisiana pine snake

Conservation success story: Louisiana pine snake

The Zoo is pleased to announce another conservation success with the recent hatchings of 16 endangered Louisiana pine snakes. This snake is nonvenomous and spends 90 percent of its time underground in self-dug burrows or those made by other animals. This elusive snake can grow up to 7 feet in length. This species only breeds one time each year, during the spring. Although this snake lays the largest eggs of any North American snake, it produces the smallest number, usually only four or five in a clutch. This snake is considered the rarest large snake in North America, as less than 210 have ever been found in their native habitat, which stretches from east Texas to western-central Louisiana.   The Fort Worth Zoo participates in a breeding program that maintains a healthy, diverse population of the species. Since 2010, the Zoo has assisted in providing hatchings for release back into its native habitat in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Forest Service, and other stakeholders. The goal of this effort is to establish a self-sustaining population in a restored habitat within an area of the historic range where the species has been long extirpated. This summer, the Zoo’s herpetology team successfully released eight of these snakes back into this habitat and plan to release the other eight in spring of 2016.
Posted by Avery Elander at 6:01 PM