Snake mortality and cover board effectiveness along exclusion fencing in British Columbia, Canada

Dana M. Eye, Jared R. Maida, Owain M. McKibbin, Karl W. Larsen, Christine A. Bishop


We report on snake mortalities along exclusion fencing in southern British Columbia, showing Western Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) deaths were disproportionately higher than our encounter rates with the species within the snake community. This suggests racers were susceptible to fence mortality more so than Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus o. oreganus) or Great Basin Gophersnakes (Pituouphis catenifer deserticola). Datalogger recordings revealed temperatures under cover boards were well above the tolerable temperatures of the three snake species, although the boards appeared to temper ambient heat more efficiently than natural vegetation. We caution that the effects of fencing and cover boards may vary across ecosystems and snake species.


Coluber; conservation; Crotalus; Great Basin Gophersnake; Northern Pacific Rattlesnake; Pituophis; reptiles; Western Yellow-bellied Racer

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