The effects of threats on ribbonsnake populations in Nova Scotia are not well understood. The recovery strategy1 has identified a number of known or potential threats including:

  • Lack of information for decision making
  • Alteration of water level and seasonal water flow
  • Habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss
  • Vehicular mortality
  • Shifts in seasonal temperatures associated with climate change
  • Introduction of exotic predatory fish that may eat snakes or their prey
  • Increased predator populations associated with human activities 
  • Intentional killing and disturbance resulting from increased encounters between humans and snakes

 While some individual threats may not have large effects on the population, researchers are concerned about the long-term cumulative effect of many threats on the overall population health.

Did you know?...

Many of these threats arise from development in an around wetland habitats. Development for cottages, homes and other uses can result in increased habitat loss, changes to water levels, increased risk of road mortality, more frequency encounters between humans and snakes and higher risk of predation from pets. However, there are many ways that you can help reduce the risks to snakes and other wetland species,  such as maintaining a natural vegetation buffer along wetland edges, minimizing lawns, reducing the use of pesticides and other chemicals, and keeping pets on a leash.

For more suggestions, visit our website:  Healthy Lakes and Wetlands: A Landowner Stewardship Guide.


1 Parks Canada Agency. 2012. Recovery Strategy for the Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus), Atlantic Population in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa. x+46pp.