Determining the Range

There is a multi-year project underway to determine the extent of the range in Nova Scotia. Each year, a team of experienced researchers systematically searches potential habitats in an attempt to confirm if ribbonsnakes are present. Locating ribbonsnakes is often difficult and time consuming. The snakes are small and cryptic and they occur in habitats that are difficult to search (bogs, stream edges etc.) due to dense vegetation. Even in areas known to contain ribbonsnakes, it can often take several hours of searching to find just one.

A second problem is posed by the sheer numbers of wetland habitats in southwest Nova Scotia, most of which are not easily accessible. We cannot search them all, so we need to be able to narrow the search. To do this, we have launched a public campaign requesting that  people report any sightings of ribbonsnakes. We distribute educational pamphlets and make presentations to schools, community organizations and to other interested groups to get the message out. We are also collecting habitat data at each area that we survey to attempt to determine if there are any particular habitat features that can predict where the snakes occur.