April and May are the peak breeding season for rattlesnakes on the Central Coast.
“We have eight species of snakes here on the Central Coast, but only one species is venomous and that’s the North Pacific rattlesnake,” says Katie Drexhage, senior environmental scientist at California State Parks. increase.
Central Coast Snake Service Owner and California Institute of Technology biology professor Emily Taylor told KSBY that a cold spring has delayed the start of the rattlesnake population boom.
“The distribution of rattlesnakes in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties is very uneven. These include the foothills near the high school, surrounding areas such as Lake Nacimiento, and things like Eastern Highway 41 Corridor in Templeton and Atascadero,” Taylor said.
Taylor founded Central Coast Snake Services in 2019 to help people move their rattlesnakes safely. Demand for services is starting to rise, she said.
“Yesterday we found two baby rattlesnakes in Los Osos, and a rattlesnake appeared in Santa Barbara.
“In Montana de Oro, they seem to like it when it’s cloudy and around 55 degrees because the ground is warm, so we’re seeing some now,” added Drexhage.
So what do we do when we face each other?
“If you see a snake near your home and you don’t know what it is, take a picture and text it to the Central Coast Snake Hotline and they will identify it. If it is a rattlesnake, it is humane. You can travel for free, otherwise we can tell you all about snakes and how to deal with them,” Taylor said.
If you’re hiking or near an open space, keep your eyes peeled, be aware of your surroundings, and listen for rattling noises.
“The rattlesnake is just always looking out for itself. Problems arise when you inadvertently get too close and out of sight, like when you’re hiking. Rattlesnakes buzz to warn you or just happen to cross a trail.” If you see one, you want to be about 10 feet away and do a big loop around it,” explains Taylor.
“It is very important that visitors stay on the trail and respect all wildlife, including snakes. Give them space,” Drexhage said.
If in doubt, take a picture of the snake without touching it and call Central Coast Snake Services at (805) 401-0811.
https://www.ksby.com/news/local-news/april-and-may-are-peak-mating-season-for-rattlesnakes-on-the-central-coast April and May are peak mating months for rattlesnakes on the Central Coast.