Species at Risk
Why protect the Eastern Ratsnake?
The Eastern Ratsnake has lived in Canada for roughly 7,000 years. It plays
an important ecological role, helping to control rodent and bird populations
among other things.
Eastern Ratsnake recovery
efforts not only benefit the species but can also help us learn a great deal
about natural habitats in eastern Ontario, particularly their state of health
and potential threats.
Many other species will benefit if we succeed in protecting and improving
the health of these habitats. The Carolinian Life Zone, for example, contains
not only the Eastern Ratsnake but also over 40% of species designated as threatened
or endangered in Canada!
The longest known Eastern Ratsnake was 2.5 metres long
but despite their size and appearance, this species is not aggressive.
What is Parks Canada doing to save the Eastern Ratsnake?
Parks Canada is a member of the Eastern Ratsnake Recovery Team.
The recovery team’s objectives are to:
- maintain the Eastern Ratsnake’s current range,
- prevent further extinctions of local populations, and
- restore connectivity among isolated populations
The main ways identified to achieve this include:
- studying the natural habitats, biology and habits of the Eastern Ratsnake
to better understand its requirements; and
- increasing awareness of the species’ situation, to encourage individuals
and organizations to get involved in recovery efforts
Parks Canada uses techniques such as telemetry,
microchips and genetic analyses to study the snakes’ natural history
and monitor populations.
© Parks Canada/1985