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© Lora Denis
As discussed in an earlier post on this blog, we get lots of questions from people asking for advice about their day-to-day encounters with nature. I joined Ontario Nature this summer and am thoroughly enjoying fielding some of those queries.
Through twitter, a farmer told us that he had not seen any snakes on his farm in Corbyville, near Belleville, in two years. In the past, he and his family regularly spotted garter and water snakes along with the odd grass and milk snake. Chemicals are not used on the farm, and frogs, toads and turtles are in abundance, prey species that attract the snakes. So, the farmer asked, what gives?
It may be that snakes have not, in fact, disappeared from this farm. Snakes are often present in an area even though we don’t see them. Many snake species in Ontario are either nocturnal or spend much of their life hiding under rocks, trees and bushes, or even underground. If there is appropriate habitat (including good places to hibernate) and enough prey (insects, frogs, salamanders, small mammals), then perhaps the snakes are still there, just well hidden.
Unfortunately, it is also possible that the snakes have indeed disappeared despite this farmer’s efforts to provide snake-friendly habitat. Snakes frequently cross roads in search of mates or food, or get to hibernation sites and consequently suffer high mortality rates because of road kill. Because they are difficult to see, drivers run over these reptiles all the time.
I guess frogs are the most liked prey for garter snakes and since you have lots of frogs in your form so there is every possibility that you will also find garter snakes in your form.
It is true that there are many places around us where snakes can be found but often we do not spend them as most of the snakes are afraid of people as people are afraid of them. People think that every snake is dangerous to them but it is not true as there are many snakes who are not venomous and water snakes are also one of these non-venomous snakes.
It’s nice to hear that farmers are concerned about the animals on their land. Awareness is the key to maintaining habitats that are hospitable to the nature that surrounds us.
Hi James what you said is absolutely correct…This can be used to make awareness among people.