Racer Snake Faces Conservation Challenges

North American Racer: J. Dulisse

Radio-Tagged Snakes Will Reveal More

Catching and tracking fast North American Racer Snakes is tough enough, but getting the conservation message to some landowners about this provincially Blue-listed species can be equally challenging.

Wildlife biologist, Jakob Dulisse, is leading a project to radio tag Racers in the lower Columbia River Valley around Trail, and has been successful in identifying several hibernacula, including one where multiple Racers were sharing a winter home, which was the first time this has been recorded in the region.

The team currently have five radio-tagged Racers that are now underground for winter. One was a recapture first caught in 2014, which shows it likely has a home-range territory and hibernacula fidelity. However, when hibernacula are discovered, it doesn’t mean they are safe from development. All 15 hibernacula recorded to-date have been on private land, and at least one of those was heavily impacted by development in 2016.

For more information on this project: fwcp.ca/conserving-at-risk-reptiles-near-trail

Columbia Region News