Nestled in Windsor, Ontario, Canada is the Ojibway Park Prairie Complex. This nature preserve is home to at risk and endangered species, including the eastern fox snake and the Butler's garter snake.
Recently, biologist Jonathan Choquette has been researching road mortality in Ojibway. He discovered that 91 snakes had been struck by traffic, with at least 30 of them being endangered species. The snakes were killed on two busy roads that connect Windsor to La Salle, Ontario.
Snakes will often cross roads to look for mates, search out food or water sources or to move to hibernation spots. The paved roads also soak up the sun's rays, creating a great, but dangerous, basking spot for these scaly creatures.
Both the fox snake and garter snake are a harmless reptile to humans. While they may seek out human buildings or piles of rubbish to hide in, they don't wish to cause the inhabitants any harm, nor are they capable to cause harm. What are ways that the nature preserve could help out these beautiful endangered snakes from being ran over by automobiles?
In spring and summer watch for activity on the road! It's not the chicken crossing the road, it's the turtle, and it's on a mission! Find out what it's doing and how to help it below!
This time of year many turtles cross the road looking to nest or to reach new habitats. Unfortunately, much of their territory has been bisected by our turtle-unfriendly roads. Snapping turtles are a particularly common sight to see in the road, as they often looking for a nesting site. Other turtles and tortoises may be looking to live in a new area, searching for more food, water, or other resources. Turtles can often be hit in the road, but fortunately they can have someone in their corner: you!
The most important thing to remember about turtles and tortoises is that they are stubborn. If you stop in the road, grab the turtle, and face it in the opposite direction it was moving in, it will turn around and go back in the road. The best course of action is to move the turtle to the side of the road it was trying to reach. If you encounter a snapping turtle, use a stick or other long object to prod it in the direction in needs to go in. If no stick is available, only grab the snapping turtle from between the back legs. Anywhere else on the body CAN and WILL be in biting range, due to snapping turtles' long necks!!! And finally, the best thing you can do is to keep your eyes on the road! Seeing them early on will give you a chance to safely pull over and help out!
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