This species is renowned for their hardiness and diurnal activity, which helps make them excellent pet reptiles. The female is usually bigger than the males, but she's often hidden by her companions. Enjoyed going through your excellent hub! Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 26, 2016: "Prospective snake owner?" Jesse Taylor, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0 License. Every year, thousands of snakes gather at the Narcisse Snake Dens in Manitoba, Canada. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 04, 2016: That's an interesting thought, Audrey! I have to go to a rural area or on a hike to get a good chance of seeing a snake. In Manitoba, garter snakes converge on the few spots suitable for hibernation without freezing. See their species account about the giant garter snake. The presence of garter snakes in human communities may create problems. I wonder how does a female decide which male will have the privilege to mate with her? A bit scary the video. Alicia, this was an interesting hub about these kinds of snakes. Very interesting hub. Pet owners must check that their fish of choice doesn't contain an enzyme called thiaminase. Not me. The range of the red-sided garter snake extends from eastern British Columbia all the way across Canada to the Maritime provinces, although the reptile is absent from Newfoundland. Unfortunately, the vet has retired and the building that he used is no longer a veterinary clinic. While I understand people want them as pets I think they are better left to their natural habitat. RCCA is a Canadian reptile classifieds site that's user friendly and mobile friendly. Buying a reptile as a pet should never be an impulsive decision. Sharing this good article. Thiaminase breaks down thiamine, or vitamin B1. These places are generally uncommon, which is one reason why garter snakes usually hibernate in groups. Garter Snake Hibernaculum Disturbed in B.C. I know that some people fear or dislike snakes, but I actually like them! Snakes have internal ears for hearing and are sensitive to touch and vibrations. Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on March 11, 2016: That was really interesting about feeding fish to garter snakes. I always find snakes to be mysterious and thrilling since we do not see them regularly. I'm not much of a snake person but I appreciated all the research that went into this hub. Garter snakes are ovoviviparous. Sometimes, half-jokingly I say how I would rather face a lion than a croc or an anaconda. The contents of this site are copyright © their respective authors and are subject to a Creative Commons Licence. The main foods of the Garter snake are earthworms, frogs, fish, leeches, tadpoles and sometimes mice. I remember how you feel about snakes from your comment on another snake hub of mine! A book about red-sided garter snakes in Manitoba, Canada for kids 9-12. Not only are they most numerous and active at this time of year, but in addition they are generally preoccupied with reproduction and aren't bothered by the presence of humans. It's located next to Highway 17 about 103 km north of Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. Occasionally I will come across one in our yard that abuts a small wooded area. I appreciate your effort a great deal. It is interesting that people have such different tastes in life! The San Francisco garter snake is a subspecies of the common garter snake and is endangered. It's good that they are interacting with nature, although I don't know how the snakes feel about it! The site says that in August, 2020 the dens were closed “until further notice” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, they hibernate near or in human communities, which has led to conflict. Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on March 03, 2016: Such wonderful material. manitoba's fantastic snake pits. Dutton. In addition, I think it's unfair to bring a wild animal into captivity, even when that animal is a snake. Red wigglers (Eisenia fetida) are worms that are often used in vermiculture. The number of youngsters ranges from only a few to as many as eighty. A large garter snake was found slithering inside a toilet at a school district office in Manitoba. Garter Snakes Released at Den Site. Some representatives of the red-spotted garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis coccinus) have a beautiful orange head. The animal is also found in the Northwest Territories as well as in the United States. I'm holding a red-sided garter snake at the famous snake dens. Threatened. Thanks for this fantastic information! I was on a visit to see my family in Winnipeg and snake-mating was far from my mind when a friend of my mom’s mentioned it was a good time to see the garter snakes coming out of hibernation. I would certainly want to stay well clear of a venomous snake, but I love to observe the non-venomous ones like garter snakes. Red-sided garter snakes have a reputation as a harmless animal, which is mostly deserved. Anyone who is planning a trip to the Narcisse Snake Dens should check the Government of Manitoba website referenced below. Both genders lead a solitary life until it's time to hibernate again. Martie Coetser from South Africa on February 26, 2016: Alicia, this is a very-very interesting article about the Red-Sided Garter Snakes and the Narcisse Snake Dens of Manitoba, but I can't see myself visiting those dens, not to talk about holding a snake. Montgomery, Sy. Thank you so much for reading this article even though snakes frighten you. There are some legal distinctions between reptiles and amphibians listed on Schedule A to the Act — some are listed as reptiles and amphibians, some as protected species, and some aren’t listed on the schedule at all — but, so far as I can tell, from the point of view of the reptile keeper they aren’t relevant: if it’s native to Manitoba, you shouldn’t keep it. FREE to use. How does this happen? I liked your statement "I think it's unfair to bring a wild animal into captivity, even when that animal is a snake." Houghton Mifflin. Tens of thousands of animals spend their winter hibernating in the dens of the area. Discover Narcisse Snake Dens in Gimli, Manitoba: The largest single concentration of harmless garter snakes in the world is a writhing Canadian serpent orgy. A vitamin B1 deficiency in a garter snake can be deadly. Lifesavers Thousands of snakes were killed when crossing the highway. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 06, 2016: Thank you, Genna. It's the most abundant and widespread snake in Canada. ). I had never heard of this snake before. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies animals according to their nearness to extinction. The common garter snake exists as different subspecies. The reptiles are interesting animals to observe and study. They're said to be one of the easiest snakes to take care of, though. If an attacker persists in its attempts to trap the snake, the reptile may bite. Although snakes can swallow quite large items, pinkies (very young mice that have not yet grown hair) may be needed for some garter snakes. It's good to get recommendations for both of these people if possible. Having grown up in the deep South, I had my share of run ins with venomous varieties of snakes (rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths), and I try to keep my distance from all types (no offense). Very interesting! The average lifespan in the wild seems to be around two years while in captivity it's generally between six and ten years. Garter snakes often have a variable appearance. They can also make the animal's feces very smelly. Of course, feeding a snake frozen mice still means that the mice have been killed, although this was probably done humanely. I appreciate your support a great deal. Beautiful colors on this snake but, not my favorite pet. Seney Natural History Association, via flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0 License. Sometimes snakes and humans can coexist peacefully. Unlike humans, the reptiles can't regulate their body temperature by internal processes. My fear of snakes is thoroughly embedded in my genes. Endemic to North and Central America, species in the genus Thamnophis can be found from the subarctic plains of Canada to Costa Rica.The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is the state reptile of Massachusetts.Garter snakes vary in length … It's best to admire the reptile from a distance instead of touching it. Endemic to North and Central America, species in the genus Thamnophis can be found from the subarctic plains of Canada to Costa Rica.The common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is the state reptile of Massachusetts.Garter snakes vary in length … Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 08, 2016: Thank you very much for the kind comment, Mel. This means that people who have a garter snake in their home don't have to watch mice bring killed by the animal. Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 03, 2016: It sounds like you had a great experience, Deb. I hope the snakes are treated well by visitors, though. A really great experience for kids; a ton of opportunities to pick-up and hold snakes. Benches along the trail allow people to rest. The animal frequently flicks its tongue out of its mouth in order to sense the environment. Thank you. Disturbed B.C. As is often true for hibernacula, the snakes belonged to different species and subspecies. Thanks for sharing your experience, Nadine. Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 26, 2016: This is a very well researched, informative and fascinating article on Red sided Garter snakes and Narcisse snakes. The tongue picks up molecules in the air and inserts them into the Jacobson's organ in the roof of the mouth, enabling the reptile to respond appropriately to the stimulus. The snake dens are in turn located about 6 kilometres north of Narcisse. Never try to pick up a snake unless you are absolutely positive that it's harmless! 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