|Posted:||October 7, 2020 04:18 PM|
|From:||Representative Steven R. Malagari|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Resolution Designating October 21, 2020, as “Reptile Awareness Day” in Pennsylvania|
|Although National Reptile Awareness Day is celebrated every October 21, there is not a clear indication as to who began this tradition or in what year it originated. However, it is generally believed that it was founded not only as a means of celebration for reptile lovers, but also to promote and encourage learning about the natural habitats of reptiles and the ecological threats that they face.
Unfortunately, a large number of reptile species are facing life threatening impacts as a result of unsustainable human activities, which have created a growing crisis relative to biodiversity. In addition, as with many exotic animals, reptiles are often purchased as pets because there is little to no regulation of wildlife trafficking, which can lead to an unsustainable exploitation of wild animal populations.
International, federal, and state legislative measures have been taken in an attempt to conserve and protect threatened and endangered species and ecosystems. In the 1970s, legislation was enacted to provide the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) with jurisdiction over the Commonwealth’s amphibian and reptile populations.
Currently, the PFBC considers the bog turtle, massasauga rattlesnake, Kirtland’s snake, rough green snake, and eastern mud turtle to be endangered reptile species. It has also listed the red-bellied turtle, Blanding’s turtle, broadhead skink, and timber rattlesnake as threatened reptile species in the Commonwealth.
Please join me in celebrating “Reptile Awareness Day” and encouraging our citizens to learn more about the natural habitats of reptiles and the ecological threats that they face, both here in the Commonwealth and throughout the world.
Introduced as HR1065