Status of Pituophis ruthveni (Louisiana pine snake)
Extensive trapping surveys across the historical range of Pituophis ruthveni (Louisiana Pine Snake) suggest that extant populations are extremely small and limited to remnant patches of suitable habitat in a highly fragmented landscape. Evaluation of habitat at all known historical localities of P. ruthveni documents the widespread degradation of the fire-maintained pine ecosystem throughout the historical range of the species. The primary factors leading to degradation of P. ruthveni habitat are intensive pine silviculture and alteration of the pre-European fire regime. Habitat restoration on public lands is feasible and could potentially restore populations of this critically rare species.