Ahwatukee rattle snakes

  This summer I saw two snakes. One was a small snake the other was a monster snake maybe 5 or 6 free long. Neither snake rattled at me. So I don't know if they were rattles nakes. I have live in the desert for a good while and this is the first year I have seen snakes.

I wonder if this article is related to the snakes I saw?


Ahwatukee area sees an increase in snake population

by Elisabeth Arriero - Aug. 5, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

The separation between desert wildlife and suburbia is narrowing in some Ahwatukee neighborhoods, where rattlesnakes are an increasingly common sight.

Landscapers recently informed the Foothills Community Association that they are seeing increasingly rattlers while working, and some of them were seen just a few feet from sidewalks.

"We're not going out of our way to find these snakes," said Chris Scheurell, a manager at Landmark Land Management, who added that on a recent day, workers spotted seven rattlesnakes.

The monsoons and a few consecutive successful mating seasons have caused the snake population growth, said Russ Johnson, president of the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

"It's cyclical," he said. "Good years mean a lot more interaction with people."

Johnson said the past few monsoon seasons in the Valley have brought decent rain, thus causing more grass seed, which rodents eat. The increased food supply leads to more rats, which is a staple in a snake's diet.

Johnson said his group receives an average of 15 calls a day from residents who have spotted a 6-foot-long snake in their yard. But Johnson said most rattlesnakes are less than 5 feet long.

"I usually take the decibels in their voice and divide it by the length that they give me to determine how big the snake was," he joked.

Johnson said residents will notice even more snakes this month. He said residents should be particularly careful around the baby snakes because they have just as much venom but only one rattle, so their warning may not be audible.

Chad Blostone, vice president of the Foothills board of directors, is working with Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio to inform residents of the snakes.

"They just need to be cognizant that we have snakes living around us," he said.

If you do find a snake in your yard, you can call the Phoenix Herpetological Society to remove it to the desert for a $75 tax-deductible contribution.

It costs about $100,000 to be treated for a rattlesnake bite, Johnson said. Only seven to 10 people nationally die each year from rattlesnake bites.

"But a rattlesnake bite is still extremely painful and costly," he said.


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