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ACTION TIMELINE

September 2009 – A study showed rattlesnake roundups to be depleting populations of eastern diamondbacks in the southeastern United States.

January 28, 2010 – The Center sent a letter to Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue urging the state to outlaw rattlesnake roundups.

March 3, 2010 – The Center and allies wrote to Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, urging the state to investigate the extent of gassing and destruction of gopher tortoise burrows to collect snakes for rattlesnake roundups.

January 25, 2011 – The Center and allies sent a letter to law-enforcement officials in Grady and Evans counties, Georgia, calling for enforcement of state wildlife laws at rattlesnake roundups.

April 5, 2011 – The Center and allies sent a letter to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources denouncing a state wildlife exhibition permit issued for the Claxton Rattlesnake Roundup held on March 12 in Evans County.

August 22, 2011– The Center, snake expert Dr. Bruce Means, Protect All Living Species and One More Generation petitioned to protect the eastern diamondback under the Endangered Species Act.

October 20, 2011 – The Center and allies sent letters to wildlife officials in Georgia and Alabama urging them to stop rattlesnake hunters from using poisons that harm imperiled gopher tortoises. 

December 1, 2011 – The Center and allies today a letter to Georgia law-enforcement officials, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and roundup sponsors urging them to enforce laws that protect both animals and people at rattlesnake roundups in the state.

January 23, 2012 The Center, Coastal Plains Institute, Protect All Living Species and One More Generation sent a letter to the Evans County Wildlife Club praising its recent decision to change its rattlesnake roundup in Claxton, Ga., to a wildlife festival where snakes would be celebrated instead of collected and killed.

March 10–11, 2012 – The Evans County Wildlife Club hosted the first-ever Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival, where thousands of attendees embraced the concept of celebrating native snakes instead of killing them.

January 23, 2013 – The Center and our allies presented a petition with more than 48,000 signatures to the Whigham Community Club asking that the county’s upcoming roundup — the last inGeorgia —be changed to a wildlife-friendly festival in which no snakes would be killed.

January 29, 2013 – The Center filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service for its failure to protect the eastern diamondback rattlesnake under the Endangered Species Act.

March 21, 2013 –  With the city of Opp, Ala., planning to host its annual rattlesnake rodeo the following weekend, the Center presented a petition with more than 55,000 signatures to the city of Opp, the event’s sponsor, asking that the city replace the rattlesnake rodeo with a wildlife-friendly festival where no snakes are killed.

Rattlesnake photo courtesy Flickr/Tad 20D