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Species at Risk

Eastern Ratsnake

Elaphe obsoleta

Close-up of a young Eastern Ratsnake being held by a Parks Canada employee.
Juvenile Eastern Ratsnakes have a different colouring than adults.
© Parks Canada

How can I help?

If you live in or visit an area where the Eastern Ratsnake lives:

  • Learn more about it and how to identify it
  • If you see a ratsnake, report it to Parks Canada or Ontario Parks staff
  • Let other people know that it is harmless and needs our help to survive
  • Do not harass it
  • Leave areas where it can live and breed (dead or hollow trees, rotten logs, compost, brush piles, etc.),
  • Drive slowly and keep an eye on the road to avoid running over snakes, particularly in spring and fall, when they are likely to be basking on roads
  • Discuss possible conservation activities with the staff of Parks Canada, provincial parks or wildlife conservation organizations (see addresses below under “Links”)

To find out more about the Eastern Ratsnake and what you can do to help protect and restore it, see the brochure "The Black Rat Snake. Live & Let Slither".

Species at Risk - Who Knew?

As little as 5% of the Eastern Ratsnake’s range is on protected land. Support from the community is crucial in saving it! If you come across a hibernaculum or nesting site, inform your local resource conservation official so the site can be recorded and monitored.