Conservation of North America’s Largest Viper



The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake and one of the largest vipers in the world! They roam habitats of the southeastern Coastal Plain in search of their small mammal prey. Over the last 200 years their populations have declined significantly and they are now one of the rarer rattlesnakes in North America. This decline is primarily attributed to two reasons; first, the majority of their habitats have been lost and those remaining are fragmented; and second, humans continue to kill them in large numbers, including deaths caused by collection for the three remaining rattlesnake roundups still held in the Southeast.

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes are doing well in some coastal areas of the Southeast, but coastal development and persecution/collection for roundups are threatening to change this. The Orianne Society (TOS) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Viper Specialist Group (VSG) are working to protect Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in coastal areas of the Southeast. Dr. Chris Jenkins (CEO & Executive Director of TOS and Chairman of the VSG) just returned from a trip exploring Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake habitats in coastal Georgia (to see photos from the field visit Dr. Jenkins is working to conserve Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in the region by developing a Conservation Planning Tool that will help prioritize areas for land protection. He is also working with a group of partners to develop a range-wide Conservation Action Plan.

To save the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, we need your help; visit our website (,and Facebook page (, or email us at and learn how you can help make a difference.