Renowned snake expert Marty Martin dies of rattlesnake bite

William “Marty” Martin, a renowned snake researcher who devoted his life’s work to the study of wood rattlesnakes, died last week after being bitten by a snake on the property of his West Virginia home, his wife said. Told. He was 80 years old.

Martin, who was described as “Rattlesnake Ambassador“In a 2019 profile on the online journal Terrain, he was just 13 years old when he documented the first instance of a timber rattlesnake in the Bull Run Mountains in Virginia.

at the age of 17He became a founding member of the Virginia Herpetological Society, and for 30 years he served in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Timber Rattlesnake Task Force, which worked to preserve the species, according to Reptile Magazine.

Martin also co-authored the 472-page book “The Timber Rattlesnake: Life History, Distribution, Status, and Conservation Action Plan”, which was released in August 2021.

Bull Run Mountains Preserve manager Joe Villari paid tribute to Martin in a lengthy Facebook post, calling him an “A.” true original in every sense of the word” and “a human of mythological proportions—far more rare than the threatened and endangered snakes to which he devoted his life.”

Villari, who was also a friend of “the complete rattlesnake legend”, said that Martin served as one of the snakes “earliest ambassadors – long before the 1970s explosion of ecological and animal welfare knowledge.”

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His happiness was “intrinsically linked to the appearance and well-being of venomous snake populations, especially his beloved woods,” he wrote, at the age of 80, “he was more physically capable than 20-year-olds.” Were that I have scuffled with across the mountain.”

John Seeley, a rattlesnake researcher in Stokesdale, said Martin was regarded in the community of snake experts as the foremost authority on wood rattles, a species he had studied since childhood.

“They are very secret animalSeeley told the Associated Press.

According to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, the timber rattlesnake — also known as the American viper, black rattlesnake, eastern rattlesnake, timber rattler and canebrake — is a large pit viper with a wide distribution in the eastern half of the Americas.

Adult wood rattlesnakes can reach lengths of up to 5 feet, although there are reports of some growing to 7 feet.

Snakebite Deaths Are Rare in America, According to information Issued by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Each year, an estimated 7,000–8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the US, but only about five of them die.

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