Some news outlets have reported that hot, dry conditions appear to be driving rattlesnakes into Utah’s urban areas in search of moisture, but this should not be taken as the Great Rattlesnake Invasion of 2021, as some members of the public have interpreted the reports.
“I’m not arguing that people aren’t seeing the snakes. They most certainly are, but whether that represents an unusual increase in snake activity, I would be a bit surprised at that,” said USU biology professor Alan Savitzky, noting extreme heat tends to limit snake movement, if anything, because it can be too hot for snakes as well as humans.
“The paradox as far as people’s reports go,” Savitzky added, “is that if people are expecting that the high temperatures are increasing snake activity, then they may be more inclined to report that activity and start sort of cataloguing those observations.” Read the rest of the story on HJnews.com.
This story is made possible thanks to a community reporting partnership between The Herald Journal and Utah Public Radio.