Despite their unwarranted reputation, snakes are critically important animals for our world. Snakes maintain balance in the food web and therefore keep ecosystems healthy. They provide humans an ecological service by controlling pest populations. Snakes are truly interesting and amazing animals, which are celebrated or worshiped in cultures around the globe. Yet, due to increased conflict with humans, many snakes species are under threat of extinction.
According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which evaluates the conservation status of plant and animal species, 12% of assessed snake species are listed as threatened and their populations are in decline. Even more alarming is that a staggering 62% of the world’s reptile species have yet to be assessed by the IUCN, meaning their conservation status is unknown.
However, as human populations rapidly grow and spread into areas that wildlife depend on, conflict with snakes is becoming increasingly common. Each year, 2.7 million people around the world suffer a serious snakebite envenomation. In response to this snakebite crisis, the World Health Organization classified snakebite as a neglected tropical disease as few efforts exist to reduce snakebite in developing countries. For many, the solution to this crisis is to kill snakes, oftentimes indiscriminately. Some snakes are killed even if they pose no real threat to the human that encountered them.
Unfortunately persecution is not the only issue that snakes face. Around the world, snake populations are in decline because of habitat destruction, disease, over-harvesting, invasive species, and even climate change. These combined threats have brought some snake species ever closer to the brink of extinction. Simultaneously, the conservation needs of most other snake species are underfunded, remain poorly understood by researchers and garner little attention from society.
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Please donate today to help us continue our work to protect snake populations and mitigate human-snake conflict. Snakes are extremely underrepresented in wildlife conservation efforts and are demonized throughout the world due to fear and ignorance. We recognize that it will take a diverse group of people from a variety of different backgrounds to create a movement to save the snakes and improve the lives of people who live near these misunderstood and ecologically important animals. To reduce the threats that snakes face, Save The Snakes is currently expanding our programs and implementing snake conservation efforts that will benefit humans and wildlife. Thank you for your support.