Did you know that Georgia has 18 protected species of reptiles, including the eastern indigo snake ( Drymarchon couper)?
The eastern indigo snake, threatened at both the federal and state level, can grow as long as 8.5 feet, making it the longest snake in North America. These snakes are closely associated with longleaf pine habitats, such as sandhills and turkey oak scrub. Stump holes and gopher tortoise burrows provide winter retreats.
In many areas, indigo snakes may depend on the burrows of gopher tortoises more than any other vertebrate burrow associate; therefore, it can be assumed that the well documented reduction in the distribution and abundance of gopher tortoises has likely impacted the status of the indigo.
As a wide-ranging species now relegated to frequent road-crossing, indigo snakes have become increasingly vulnerable to vehicles and to humans who indiscriminately kill any snake seen. Many populations were depleted by collection for the pet trade previous to their federal listing and protection under the Endangered Species Act.
For more information on the eastern indigo snake and conservation efforts, check out this fact sheet from the Georgia DNR.
Information retrieved from the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division website.