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Crotalus atrox

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Crotalus atrox
Species Authority: Baird & Girard, 1853
Common Name(s):
English Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Frost, D.R., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The species' geographic range extends from southeastern California, possibly southern Nevada, central and southern Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas in the United States, south in Mexico to extreme northeastern Baja California, northern Sinaloa, Veracruz, and (at least formerly) disjunctly to Oaxaca (Ernst 1992, Campbell and Lamar 2004). It is unclear whether specimens collected in Kansas represent translocated individuals or part of a natural population (Matlack and Rehmeier 2002). The elevational range extends from near sea level up to at least 2,440 m asl in San Luis Potosi (Klauber 1972), but most locations are below 1,500 m asl (Campbell and Lamar 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences. Campbell and Lamar (2004) mapped hundreds of collection sites. The adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000. This is a common snake in much of its range. Its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, and number of subpopulations are probably relatively stable; population size is probably declining at less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species' habitat encompasses arid and semi-arid regions, from plains to mountains and from sandy flats to rocky uplands, including desert, grassland, shrubland, woodland, open pine forest, river bottoms, and coastal islands (Degenhardt et al. 1996, Tennant 1998, Werler and Dixon 2000, Stebbins 2003, Campbell and Lamar 2004). In southeastern Arizona, this snake is more numerous in desert scrub than in semi-desert grassland (Mendelson and Jennings 1992). It hibernates in rock crevices or cavities or sometimes in animal burrows or under other cover (Ernst 1992). Hibernation sometimes occurs communally in brushy upland ridges. A population in southeastern Arizona used mainly creosote bush flats but switched to rocky slopes during winter (Beck 1995). This primarily terrestrial snake sometimes climbs into vegetation or enters water.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats have been identified. Some populations have been decimated by habitat destruction, automobile traffic, and/or direct killing by humans, especially in conjunction with "rattlesnake roundups."

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Several occurrences of this species are in protected areas.

Citation: Frost, D.R., Hammerson, G.A. & Santos-Barrera, G. 2007. Crotalus atrox. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 September 2014.
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