Tiny Snakes in Shrinking Habitats

An adult Sharpie would sit neatly on a loonie, but he'd prefer to hide in a rock pile or rotten log. Of course few people ever see one since they avoid sunlight. If you did see one, you might mistake it for a worm.   The Sharp-tailed Snake is Endangered, and it's only found in this part of Canada.

For three years HAT and biologist Christian Engelstoft have been meeting with landowners with suitable habitats for this rare snake: south-facing open woodlands with rocky slopes and downed wood.  We're focusing our efforts in the Highlands, Methchosin, and Galiano Island to discover previously unknown populations and to determine the extent of known populations.

Isolated by geography and their lack of wings, Sharpies are very vulnerable to habitat loss as a result of the explosive expansion of urban development in our region.  This darling mini-serpent isn't the only one hoping to keep their home - 117 Species at Risk need the same oak and arbutus woodland habitats to survive.  They've lived here for thousands of years, but we're only beginning to learn about their needs, and what it will take to maintain the rich biodiversity of our region.

Find out the difference between Sharpies and garter snakes here. Let us know if you see one, and take a photo!

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