The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is considering rules that would prohibit the intentional use of gasoline and other substances (“gassing”) to take or capture nongame wildlife, particularly rattlesnakes.
- Why is TPWD considering a ban on gassing?
Gassing is an indiscriminate means of take. The Department is concerned about the impact of gassing on wildlife and habitat, particularly on non-target organisms, including federally-endangered karst (cave-dwelling) invertebrates that inhabit caves and crevices along with rattlesnakes.
- Does this mean that commercial rattlesnake collection and roundups will be outlawed? Is TPWD trying to shut down rattlesnake roundups?
- No. The proposed regulatory changes would serve to restrict means of take only and would not prohibit collection by legal means. TPWD is working cooperatively with roundup organizers to ensure that a ban on gassing would not adversely impact rattlesnake-oriented community events.
- Many rattlesnake roundups currently discourage the collection of snakes by gassing, and several organizers have expressed a desire to work cooperatively with TPWD and snake collectors to promote safe and effective collection practices.
- Doesn’t gassing control rattlesnake populations? Won’t we be overrun by rattlesnakes if gassing is banned?
There are no data to suggest that rattlesnakes will become overabundant in the absence of gassing.
- More here…