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Central Coast seeing rise in reports of rattlesnakes

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 18:43:52-04

Rattlesnake season in San Luis Obispo County spans from March through November in most locations.

With the recent rise in temperatures, there is a more significant presence of these snakes in the region.

“Heat waves can bring out snakes, especially in certain areas that are on the coast,” said Central Coast Snake Services Owner Emily Taylor. “In places like San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach, Los Osos, we tend to see an increase in snake activity.”

“I have gotten a ton of calls in Los Osos and in San Luis Obispo,” said Central Coast Snake Services Volunteer Snake Relocator Tanya Luthin. “This weekend, we went out to Santa Maria to get a snake.”

This is a unique time for rattlesnakes as they are in their birthing and mating seasons.

“The females are having babies right now,” said Taylor. “Birthing started in August. Meanwhile, it's mating season for the females that are not pregnant this year. The males are looking for those females.”

“There might be more than one snake in the area,” said Luthin. “When we come out, we'll check to make sure and take all the rattlesnakes.”

Extreme heat forces snakes to find cooler temperatures. However, the snakes still welcome the heat.

“Up in the North County, the really extreme temperatures mean that snakes are tending to lay low,” said Taylor.

“When it's this hot out, the snakes may not want to be out in this kind of heat,” said Luthin. “Overall, the warm weather does tend to draw them out. You're probably more likely to see them in your yard in the warm season.”

Emily Taylor, a professor of Biology at Cal Poly, owns Central Coast Snake Services.

C.C.S.S. safely removes rattlesnakes and restores them into their natural habitat.

“We're going to relocate it between a quarter mile and a half mile away,” said Taylor. “We are mandated and permitted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to relocate snakes those distances. They usually don't come back, but they still do well, so it's a win-win situation for the homeowners and for the snakes.”

With it being birthing season, C.C.S.S. has implemented a Rattlecam so people can see a live view of the snakes on the Central Coast.

“It's located at a rookery, which is where several pregnant females go to have their babies,” said Luthin.

For those that come in contact with a rattlesnake, it is important to contact Central Coast Snake Services immediately at their hotline, 805-401-0811.

C.C.S.S. will remove the rattlesnake for free and relocate it in its proper habitat.

To view the Rattlecam, click here.

To donate to the C.C.S.S. and their research, click here.