by Michael Lowrey
Could be, which would put a new meaning to the “don’t tread on me” theme made famous by the Gadsden flag. Seems that the The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reviewing whether the eastern diamondback rattlesnake should be declared an endangered species. The big and highly dangerous pitviper can at least in theory be found in the sandy pine flatwoods of the southeastern coastal plain of North Carolina, which marks the northern extreme of its range. The key world being “in theory” as no one thinks that there are a lot of large adult Crotalus adamanteus in the state. If there are any at all. And in any case, eastern diamondbacks are already protected by the state.
Bonus observation: The only slightly more common in North Carolina and extremely deadly but much smaller eastern coral snake (“Red and black, friend of Jack; red and yellow, kill a fellow”) is also protected by the state.