Sunday, March 17, 2013

Decorative handmade ceramic rattlesnake tile

8x8 relief carved and hand painted Santa Catalina Island Rattle snake
The second creature in our endangered species tile series.
$5.00 of each tile sold will be donated to ARC The Amphibian and reptile conservancy.
One of the most notable features of the critically endangered Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake is the lack of a functioning rattle. This is believed to be an evolutionary adaptation for stealth and unlike many other Rattlesnakes this relatively slender species is an agile climber. The rather barren Island of Santa Catalina in the Gulf of California off the coast of Mexico is the only place this highly threatened snake occurs. Once considered a common species,  numbers have been seriously declining, primarily due to killing and illegal collection. This snakes very passive behavior makes it an easy target and 'pit fall' traps have been found with people collecting the reptiles by the bag full. In addition predation by feral cats and a decline in the deer mouse population, their main food source, may pose a threat.  Like many other snakes this species seems to be receiving less conservation attention than it deserves, due in part to long standing, fairly wide spread negative attitudes and misconceptions towards snakes.

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