Fear of snakes is not an unusual phobia and many people have it. I know someone that cringes when I mention these creepy crawling creatures. Personally, I think they are beautiful, mysterious creatures that just have a bad reputation. Unfortunately, there are many species of snakes that are on the verge of being extinct due to the gradual destruction of their natural habitat. If they are not bothered, snakes are not a real threat to humans. Let’s take a look at the rarest snake species in the world:
1. St. Lucia Racer Snake
The St. Lucia Racer snake is officially one of the rarest snake species in the world. It lives on a small island in the Caribbean, near the St. Lucia coast, hence its name. This snake species has been massively eradicated by predators like the black rat and the mongoose. The predators have killed the snakes and poached the eggs. In 1936 the St. Lucia Racer snake has been declared extinct but in 1973 it has been rediscovered on the island Maria Major. This is a non-venomous snake that can reach 1 meter in length and currently there are only 18 of this snake on the island.
2. Orlov’s Viper
This beautiful creature is one of the rarest snake species in the world at the moment. It lives in the Russian Black Sea region. It’s a close relative of the Caucasian viper and it’s extremely venomous. It has been estimated that there are only 250 Orlov vipers in the wild, and the major reason for its extinction is the widespread poaching.
3. The Aruba Island Rattlesnake
This rattlesnake species lives in the Caribbean islands of Aruba, off the coast of Venezuela. This is a nocturnal snake with a light brown or gray color. The rattlesnake gives birth to live young (viviparous) rather than laying eggs like other snake species. It can live up to 20 years and it feeds mostly on birds, rodents and lizards. At the moment, there are only 230 Aruba Island rattlesnakes in the wild, which makes it one of the rarest snake species on the planet. Their habitat is threatened by human development, which left these snakes with only 25 square km of natural space. Another threatening factor is the introduction of goats that destroy the vegetation on the island.
4. Round Island Boa
When we hear about Boa snakes we automatically think about those huge constrictor snakes. This Boa snake lives on the Round Island in Mauritius and it’s not a big snake, reaching up to 1,5 m in length. Fortunately, their numbers have increased recently because back in 1996 there were only about 250 adult snakes living in the wild. At the moment there are around 1,000 Round Island Boa snakes but they’re not out of danger of being extinct. One of the main reasons for its disappearing is the introduction of rabbits and goats in the snake’s natural habitat. Luckily, the Round Island Boa is part of a breeding program that will help with their survival as a species.
5. The Short-Nosed Sea Snake
The short-nosed sea snake, also known as the Shul reef snake, is one of the rarest snake species living right now. Their natural habitat is somewhere off the coast of North Western part of Australia. The reasons for this species’ increasing disappearance are not known but researchers believe the severe coral degradation might be one of the causes.
Other rare snake species that face extinction are: the Darevsky’s Viper, the Antiguan Racer, the Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake, the Alcatrazes Lancehead and Wagner’s Viper.
We need to take better care of our planet and the wonderful creatures that inhabit it otherwise we will lose many of the living species.