Aruba Island Rattlesnake
Crotalus durissus unicolor
Federal and State Protections
Countries of Occurrence
States or Providence
This medium-sized rattlesnake only occurs on the island of Aruba off the coast of Venezuela. The Aruba Island rattlesnake is critically endangered with likely less than 250 mature individuals remaining in the wild. Their habitat is harsh and dry with thorny acacia bushes covering most of where they occur. They primarily consume lizards and birds.
Introduced boas to Aruba also consume lizards and birds, but as boas grow larger than the Aruba Island rattlesnakes, it is thought that they consume prey the rattlesnakes don't target as adults. Unfortunately, younger boas do compete with the native rattlesnakes for prey items which is further putting the Aruba Island rattlesnakes at risk for extinction.
Fun fact: There is a rigorous international ex situ captive breeding program in an effort to conserve this species, and their habitat is protected in situ in Arikok National Park on Aruba! Further, the currency on Aruba known as the florin note featured the rattlesnake up until this year. The locals love their endemic species!