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Action timeline

April 20, 2010 – The Center filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect 404 Southeast aquatic species, including the South Florida rainbow snake, as threatened or endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

October 5, 2011 – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the South Florida rainbow snake and the Florida fairy shrimp had been determined to be extinct.

November 22, 2011 – The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Snake Conservation announced that we’ll offer a $500 reward to the first person to document the existence of the South Florida rainbow snake. Both conservation organizations believe that the Fish and Wildlife Service prematurely declared the species extinct without conducting targeted surveys and despite several unconfirmed sightings.

March  2012 – Biologists with the Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Snake Conservation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service went on a five-day expedition in South Florida in search of the region’s rainbow snake. Although the survey didn’t turn up any sign of the snake, researchers confirmed there’s good habitat for the snake at Fisheating Creek and are tantalized by a reliable report of a sighting earlier this year by a local resident.

Rainbow snake photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/AlanGarrett