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Why You Should Not Hunt Southern Black Racer

What Exactly is A Southern Black Racer?

The Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) is a unique species of nonvenomous snake that is endemic to the southeastern United States. Typically, this snake will have a shiny, glossy black color and can be found in a variety of habitats, including wooded areas, fields, agricultural plots and urban parks. The average length of the Southern Black Racer is between one and four feet, and a specimen over six feet is considered quite large.

Do not hunt Southern Black Racer

The Unique Role of the Southern Black Racer in the Ecosystem

The Southern Black Racer holds a vital role within its local ecosystems because of its position as a predator. This species mainly feeds on lizards, insects and small rodents, and largely helps keep their populations in check. It’s also important to note that the presence of a species like the Southern Black Racer in an area can provide important information on the current health of an ecosystem, as a lack of these predators is often evidence of environmental pollution, climate change or other disturbances.

Why You Should Not Hunt the Southern Black Racer

Given the vital importance of predators to their local ecosystems, including the Southern Black Racer, it’s incredibly important to protect and conserve these species. This means that hunting the Southern Black Racer just isn’t a good idea. Here are some compelling reasons why this species should not be hunted:

1. Hunting Southern Black Racers Can Disrupt the Entire Ecosystem

When the population of the Southern Black Racer is overharvested, it can significantly impact the food web within an ecosystem. As a top predator, the species plays an important role in maintaining the balance of its environment. Removing them from the equation can then lead to an overpopulation of their prey, which can then have repercussions for smaller predators and even lead to a decreased number of plant-eaters due to an overall lack of availability of food.

2. Their Populations Are Already in Decline

Due to the destruction of natural habitats, urbanization and inbreeding, the Southern Black Racer is one of those species that is already experiencing a decrease in its population numbers. Adding hunting to the mix will only add additional stress to the species, making it even more likely that its population will decrease even further.

3. Some Subspecies of the Southern Black Racer Could Be At Risk

The Southern Black Racer can be found in a variety of areas within the southern United States, and each of these areas are home to distinct subspecies of the species. Some of these subspecies are already in decline and could even become endangered if the current population trends continue. As hunting could lead to greater declines in their numbers, it’s important to protect the species in order to avoid any further losses in their population numbers.

4. There Are Other Alternatives for Controlling Rodent Populations

In some agricultural areas, it’s not uncommon for people to hunt the Southern Black Racer as a way of controlling rodent populations. However, there are alternatives to this method. For example, some farmers use traps and chemical control methods in order to keep their rodent populations in check.


It’s evident that the Southern Black Racer is an incredibly important species to conserve, both for its own health and the health of the entire ecosystem. As such, it’s important to identify and implement alternatives to hunting the species in order to ensure that its populations and the health of the environment remain intact.

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