LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is hoping to raise awareness for the state’s reptile species by encouraging all citizens to vote for a state reptile.
Nebraska’s state symbols include western meadowlark, white-tailed deer, goldenrod, honeybee and cottonwood. The state lacks a designated state reptile, however.
Nebraska is home to 48 species of reptiles, including snakes, turtles and lizards. That list has been narrowed to six species for the vote:
- ornate box turtle
- common snapping turtle
- western hognose snake
- prairie lizard
- six-lined racerunner
Voters are encouraged to select one to represent the state.
Dennis Ferraro, conservation biologist and herpetologist from the School of Natural Resources, wants you to know just one thing before you cast your ballot: The ornate box turtle was designated Kansas’ official state reptile in 1986.
OK, two things: The bullsnake should get your vote.
“No germs can pass from the bullsnake to humans,” he said. “They also eat moles, gophers, rats and mice – they’re considered the farmers friend.”
And possibly most importantly, they are found in all 93 counties in the state.
To cast your ballot for state reptile, click here.
Voting ends May 31, after which the NGPC will work with the Nebraska State Legislature to seek to declare the winning reptile as the state reptile.
-- Adapted from NebraskaLand magazine, March 2017
More details at: http://outdoornebraska.gov/reptilevote