Certain Reptiles Having Their Natural Habitat Threatened - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Certain Reptiles Having Their Natural Habitat Threatened

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - There's no question about it, the Basin is booming with new businesses and housing. But all of that construction is having a negative impact on some reptiles here in West Texas.

You wouldn't want to see a rattlesnake slithering around in your backyard but rattlesnakes are inching closer and closer to homes in the Basin and you can blame the drought for that.

"During that time there was a little bit of die off of their food and yes some of them at that time started moving around looking for some food," Burr Williams, Director of The Sibley Nature Center in Midland, said.

Not only did the drought wipe out their food supply, all of the housing construction in the Basin is forcing them out of their natural habitat and people are not taking too well to their unexpected visit.

"I think so many people that have just moved here are just not use to seeing snakes, and I think there's a bit of a little over reaction. Also they see snakes and think that all snakes are rattlesnakes and they are more scared than they need to be," Williams said.

Officials with the Sibley Nature Center say the population of rattlesnakes in West Texas is already fairly low, every time a new housing development sprouts up, the snakes move out.

"If you clear off say 15 acres to make a development, you're probably gonna disturb maybe one rattlesnake, maybe one or two bull snakes, one or two king snakes and a handful of smaller snakes and all those have to find a new place to live," Williams said.

But if we continue to destroy their home turf, it can have a negative impact not only on them but on you as well.

"Anytime you have the proliferation of rodents then you run the chance of two different diseases that can kill more folks than just one rattlesnake. Plague which gets on especially pack rats and then Hinesburg which gets on mice," Williams said.

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