Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lake Erie Water Snake

Nerodia sipedon insularum
The Lake Erie Water Snake is actually a subspecies of the very common Northern Water Snake. While the species as a whole is found across the northern areas of the continent, the Lake Erie subspecies is confined to a very small area of land on that titular lake.

This non-venomous subspecies is so remarkable because it was once rare and endangered. It was listed as a federally threatened animal in 1999, due to intentional killings and habitat loss. 20 years ago there were only about 1,200 adult snakes remaining!

Lake Erie Water Snakes have now dramatically rebounded, thanks to habitat protection, community involvement, and a recovery plan. They were de-listed by the federal government in August 2011.

One really great story behind the resurgence of the subspecies is that they help to curb the Round Goby population. The fish is an invasive species that has harmed the native populations. Lake Erie Water Snakes now consume the invasive fish in huge numbers- they make up 90% of their diet!

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North America
Size : Length up to 4ft (1.2m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Squamata
Family : Colubridae -- Genus : Nerodia -- Species : N. sipedon -- Subspecies : N. s. insularum

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this useful article about Lake Erie Water Snake which is a subspecies of Northern Water Snake as you have also mentioned in your post. Northern water snakes are probably the most common type of water snakes in US that can that can be found in most states including California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri and more.

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