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Gray Ratsnake Recovery Project 2017 - 2021

Coordinated monitoring, threat mitigation, habitat creation and delivery of stewardship communications for Carolinian Gray Rat Snake Oriskany Subpopulation to address knowledge gaps and prevent further population decline.

Partners & Funders

The three-year project is funded by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry's Species-At-Risk Stewardship Fund (SARSF).

Expert consultation for the project is provided by our partner
8Trees Incorporated.

Project Summary

The Carolinian Gray Rat Snake Oriskany population will be studied to identify persistence, distribution, habitat features, nest and hibernacula sites, dispersal and mating patterns.  Habitat restoration and direct threat mitigation activities will include afforestation, wetland restoration, nest box installations and hibernacula construction pilot to test potential for future head-starting as a species recovery strategy.

Project Objectives

To design, construct and monitor microclimatic conditions of test hibernacula to determine its feasibility as an alternative habitat creation technique for Gray Rat Snake population recovery

To survey areas of interest in the Carolinian Gray Rat Snake Oriskany sub-population range to identify habitat features, imminent threats and extent of species distribution.

To mitigate habitat fragmentation threats through strategic afforestation to enlarge and connect existing habitat and wetland restoration.

To identify, monitor and collect data from existing hibernacula, nest sites, nest box and cover board installations to expand knowledge of Gray Rat Snake ecology, behavior and population dynamics.

To utilize local knowledge, educational outreach, a network of local residents and project partners to raise awareness, encourage best management practices and mitigate threats to Gray Rat Snake population decline.