© Loren L. | #InTheWildHood
Roughly 115 snake species and subspecies call Texas home, more than any other state in the country. Some, like the indigo and Louisiana pine, are threatened species. Most, like the hognose or the rat snake, may look frightening but are completely harmless and absolutely beneficial to our ecosystems.
In Texas we have only four varieties of venomous snake — the marvelously camouflaged copperhead, the hefty rattlesnake, the water loving cottonmouth, and the colorful coral snake. Yet even these, specifically their venom, have beneficial use in medical research.
© Denise R. | #InTheWildHood
Snakes experience many of the same threats as other wildlife — habitat loss, disease and natural disasters, for example — but perhaps the biggest threat they face is that they are so often viewed through a negative lens. July 16 is World Snake Day, a day to celebrate the snake and spread a positive message to change attitudes and encourage their conservation.
© Adrian M. | #InTheWildHood
Certainly it makes sense to be cautious when you see a snake in your yard, shed or garage. But you don't have to immediately run for a weapon. Odds are the snake you found is harmless and doing it's best to help you by keeping down pest populations around your home. Instead, like these photographers in our In The Wild Hood summer photo contest, pick up your camera or camera phone and snap a picture. Entering the contest is quick and easy.
Take a picture. Save a snake. Change the narrative. What better way to observe World Snake Day?
© Ashley B. | #InTheWildHood
For more great content on Texas wildlife, subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. For a limited time enjoy three months of digital access to 600+ articles and our expanded 2020 Summer issue - all for only $1.99!