Rare eastern indigo snake spotted in Alabama

A rare eastern indigo snake has been spotted in the wild in Alabama. It’s only the second sighting since a reintroduction program started releasing captive-raised snakes in the state in 2010. The young snake was found on Wednesday “and is the product of natural pairings among those purposefully released in Conecuh National Forest,” the Alabama Wildlife and Fisheries division announced on its Facebook page. The reintroduction program began in 2006 with a goal of releasing 300 snakes into the wild from the Central Florida Zoo, where they’re being raised. At more than 8 feet long, eastern indigo snakes (Drymarchon couperi) are the longest snakes native to the U.S., and were an apex predator that played an important role in the longleaf pine ecosystem before they were extirpated from the state in the 1950s, Outdoor Alabama writes. The last eastern indigo snake was seen in the wild was in 2020. That was the first sighting of the snake, which is federally listed as threatened, in over 60 years.

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Header Image: An eastern indigo snake. Credit: Trisha Shears