Snakes of South Dakota

Picture of a rattlesnake head

Snakes are probably the most misunderstood animals in the world. Although it is important to realize the potential danger of some species, we need not fear or hate these limbless reptiles. Leave snakes alone, and they will likely leave you alone.

Snakes are normally timid and secretive. When approached, they usually remain quiet to avoid detection. They may try to escape if given an opportunity. Only when frightened or cornered will they stand their ground. Reptiles are valuable animals that play an important environmental role by eating insects and rodents. Many species face extinction because of man's persistent use of pesticides and destruction of large areas of habitat that these animals require to survive. Snakes are beneficial to people, but people are seldom beneficial to snakes!