Thursday, 3 August 2017

INCREASED SIGHTINGS OF SNAKES NOT AN INDICATOR OF INCREASED POPULATION (SW Ontario, Canada) - via Herp Digest



By Peter Langille, AM 800, 7/18/17

(Editor- Similar articles are appearing in the media from Ontario to Arizona to Azerbaijan (see article following this one) to Australia. Reasons given of course vary. None, that I have seen, say that there is an increase in the number of snakes.)

There are more reports of snake sightings in the area, particularly in the LaSalle area.

But Herpetologist (snake expert) Steve Marks of the Essex County Field Naturalist Club says it's not because we have more snakes.

He explains the weather we've had in the past few weeks is the main reason snakes:
"it's possible people are seeing more because of the cool nights we've been having." says Marks, "In the mornings snakes need to warm up after such a cool night so it's possible people are just noticing more snakes because they're more actively basking in the sun”

He says the largest snake in this area is the Eastern Fox Snake which can reach 4-5 ft. long on average and a few over 6 ft.

But Marks adds, they're completely and totally harmless to people and pets.

He says the Northern Water Snake is also quite large and lives near waterways and are known to be a basking snake.

Marks says the benefit of the Eastern Fox Snake is that its main prey is mice, which is where all rabies come from.

He says the rarest and most endangered snake in this region is the Massassauga Rattler, of which there are fewer than a dozen in Southwest Ontario.


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