Watch out for this snake. Pygmy rattlesnakes reside in Tennessee, but they are few in number and reclusive, rarely seen. Tennessee lists the species as threatened and, of course, they are protected as all snakes in the state are. Tennessee State University is researching the pygmy rattlesnake and wants to determine its distribution in Tennessee. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is assisting.
As a citizen scientist, you are asked to watch for this tiny venomous rattler and report its whereabouts. But do not harass or attempt to capture it. Photograph it with a smart phone with the GPS locator enabled (the GPS locator is in the settings/privacy section of most phones). Previous sightings, with or without photos, can be reported with date and exact location.
Report sightings to Shawn Snyder via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 717-683-4226; or contact Dr. Bill Sutton, email@example.com or 615-963-7787. For more on the pygmy rattlesnake project, including photographs, go to www.tn.gov/assets/entities/twra/attachments/Pygmy_Rattlesnake_Flyer.pdf, and the Watchable Wildlife site at www.tnwildlife.org.