• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of


CURWOOD: Most people go out of their way to avoid rattlesnakes. But gather a couple hundred of the poisonous vipers together, throw in a contest or two, a flea market, a unique photo-op, and people will come. At the end of each April the annual Rattlesnake Derby in Mangum, Oklahoma, draws thousands of spectators to demonstrations on everything from snake handling to snake meat recipes. But tours provide the uninitiated with an up-close look at rattlesnake catching, and registered snake hunters also venture through local farms with four-foot metal tongs poised to grab and bag native rattlers. Cash prizes go to the largest snake, the most pounds of snakes, and the greatest number of snakes. And the winning serpents get their picture taken with the reigning derby princess. Rattlesnake round-ups are common across the rural South, but some rattlers aren't as common as they used to be. One viper, the Mexican ridge-nosed rattlesnake, is listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. And although they're not officially listed, the timber rattlesnake and the Massasauga swamp rattler are each considered endangered in some states. So, with numbers dwindling, a snake in the grass may be worth more than two in the bag. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.

(Music up and under, with rattling; fade to chirps up and under)



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth