Red-sided Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) Relocation and Education Project


Lisa Takats


A red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis) relocation project was initiated to determine whether snakes would overwinter successfully in another occupied hibernaculum in the Stony Plain area, west of Edmonton, Alberta. A total of 1190 garter snakes were relocated to a den 9.5 km away that contained over 8500 snakes. Thirty percent of the relocated snakes returned to the new den in the following years. None of the relocated snakes returned to their old den site. Size class measurements show the new den to contain a normal distribution of sizes, while the size distribution of relocated snakes were similar. Over all the project has been very successful, and shows that snakes can be relocated successfully to another occupied den. 

Education projects included talks, posters, field trips, media releases, and another snake den management program in Fort Assiniboine. A Snakes of Alberta poster was produced and will also increase public knowledge about snakes and their environments. 

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