Status: Protected in the state of Louisiana and Texas and being considered for federal protection due to declining population. Range: Restricted distribution in central and western Louisiana and eastern Texas.Habitat: Confined to open pine forest with sandy, well-drained soils and substantial herbaceous ground cover.Food: Primarily pocket gophers but also other rodents, rabbits, amphibians, ground-nesting birds, and eggs. Reproduction: Reach sexual maturity at 4 feet (1.2 m) long and after 3 years old. Females lay 3-5 eggs in soft earth under rocks or logs during the summer. After 60 days of incubation, hatchlings are the largest of any North American snake at 18-22 inches (45-56 cm) long and up to 3.8 ounces (107 g) in weight.Facts: Urban development, conversion to agriculture, road construction, and mining have all contributed to loss and fragmentation of habitat for this non-venomous species. It is now recognized as one of the rarest snakes in North America.