Spring has arrived and it is accompanied by warm weather and dry, hot conditions in most regions of California. The encounters of humans with snakes are expected as these evasive animals become very active during this period of the year. Majority of the native snakes are not harmful.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) urges the prevention of the rattlesnake, a venomous species, and having knowledge of the action to take in the rare incident of a bite. Rattlesnakes may be discovered in various habitats, from coastal to desert, and are common in California.
They can have some attraction to regions around homes that have heavy brush or vegetation, underneath woodpiles where rodents may conceal, and also in landscapes that is well-manicured to relax in the sun. In general, rattlesnakes are not combative, unless they are been threatened or provoked, and will probably retreat if given the chance.
Vicky Monroe, CDFW's Conflict Programs Coordinator said: "Snakes are usually misunderstood. They contribute to important ecosystem benefits, like rodent control, and are a crucial part of the unique biodiversity in California." She also said snakes like staying away from people or pets and are not combative naturally.
Effects of Rattlesnake Bite
"We urge people to be safe from a rattlesnake, take time to get some knowledge about their local wildlife, and take suitable safety precautions when relaxing outside," she added. Majority of the bites take place when a rattlesnake is touched or mistakenly brushed against by someone climbing or walking. Most bites happen between the months of April and October when humans and snakes are mostly found outside their houses.
On occasion, rattlesnake bites have led to serious injury - even death. The California Poison Control System records that the probability of being bitten is little, weighed up to the risk of other environmental injuries. The potential of having an encounter with a rattlesnake should not discourage anyone from going outdoors.
Snake Fungal Disease (SFD)
CDFW makes some tips available on its website to "Be safe from Rattlesnake," how to live safely with native snakes, and the things to do (or not do) when bitten by the snake. You can find other resources on the California Herps Living with Rattlesnakes webpage. CDFW in 2019 made a confirmation of the state's first case of Snake Fungal Disease (SFD), a disease in snakes that are newly emerging.
SFD can lead to significant deaths in species of conservation involve. There is no proof that SFD can be transferred from snakes to humans. You may aid the efforts of CDFW by disclosing snake sightings with skin sores or strange behavior. Do not try touching or handling.
Rattlesnakes are very specialized, venomous reptiles with enormous bodies and heads that are triangular in shape. They are one of the most iconic groups of North American snakes because of the characteristic "rattle" seen at their tail.
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