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Species At Risk


Reptiles at Risk

Common Name: Eastern Hog-nosed Snake

Scientific Name: Heterodon platirhinos

Eastern Hog Nosed Snake - Species at Risk
Photo by Jay Cossey

Provincial Status: Threatened
Federal Status: Threatened

Habitat: The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake lives is areas where toads, their main prey item, occur, often in sandy, well-drained habitats such as beaches and dry forests, where they can also lay their eggs and hibernate. They use their up-turned snout to dig burrows below the frost line in the sand where they lay their eggs.

Main Threats: : Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most prominent threats to this species, as well as persecution by humans who often mistake this species for being dangerous.

Common Name: Eastern Ribbonsnake

Scientific Name: Thamnophis sauritus

Eastern Ribbon Snake
Photo by Frode Jacobsen

Provincial Status: Special Concern
Federal Status: Special Concern

Habitat: Being a predator of frogs and small fish, the Eastern Ribbonsnake can be found near ponds and marshes.

Main Threats: Wetland loss is a major threat to this species. Declines in their amphibian prey and persecution by humans who mistake them for being harmful are also causes of their decline.

Common Name: Milksnake

Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum

Photo by David Fitzpatrick

Provincial Status: Special Concern
Federal Status: Special Concern

Habitat: The Milksnake can live in rocky outcrops, fields and forest edges. In this region of Ontario, it can occur in old farm fields and farm buildings because they eat the mice that live in these places. These snakes hibernate underground, in rotting logs or in the foundations of old buildings.

Main Threats: People often kill this snake, mistaking it for the venomous Massassauga Rattlesnake which doesn't occur in this region. Habitat loss and collisions with cars are also sources of the decline of this species.