2008. For example, in the study by Row et al. Gestation sites may be used by one or more gravid females (e.g., 8-10: Poulin and Didiuk 2008) and are typically occupied by rattlesnakes in successive years (Gannon and Secoy 1984; Jørgensen and Nicholson 2007; Martinson 2009a; Andrus 2010; AESRD and ACA 2012). Saskatchewan Research Council. This species is often associated with river and coulee bottoms, and upland grasslands or badlands. 2002. SCHEDULE 1 (Subsections 2(1), 42(2) and 68(2)): LIST OF WILDLIFE SPECIES AT RISK. 101 pp. comm. in Biology (2007) and a Master’s in Landscape Architecture (2011), both from the University of Guelph. Diet of the northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis oreganus, in British Columbia. Not all high-traffic highways will act as barriers, however, if suitable dispersal conduits are available. Home range size and range length estimates for Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis) in Canada based on field studies. Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. 2012. A large den complex in Alberta located within Kennedy Coulee was afforded additional protection in 2009 through the application of a protective notation on the site in the Alberta Lands Registry system. 2011. The bimodal migratory behaviour of Prairie Rattlesnakes is conducive to creating links between subpopulations both across the prairie uplands and along riparian corridors. A location is a geographically distinct area in which a single threatening event can rapidly affect all individuals of the species that are present (COSEWIC 2011b). Grasslands Sale Imperils Province’s Heritage. The majority of native grassland (i.e., prairie) loss in Canada occurred prior to the 1930s as a result of conversion to cropland (Gauthier et al. [accessed December 2013]. Morgan, D., pers. Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. The projected increase in intensity and scope of threats in the uplands across the prairie landscape (see Habitat Trends;Threats and Limiting Factors), and associated increase in mortality risk, may result in the gradual degradation of connectivity and subsequent increase in population structuring of Prairie Rattlesnakes in Canada. Alberta Parks: Natural Areas. 2008. Adults attain an average snout-vent length of 120 cm, and an average mass of 1000 g. Like all rattlesnakes, this species has a segmented rattle at the end of its tail, two heat sensing pits below its eyes and two retractable fangs in its upper jaw. Growth and reproductive rates of a northern population of the Prairie Rattlesnake, Crotalus v. viridis. In southeastern Alberta, the number of shallow gas wells drilled annually peaked in 2005 and subsequently decreased considerably (Tertzakian and Baynton 2011). Automobile drivers have been documented to intentionally run over Prairie Rattlesnakes in Alberta (Jørgensen pers. Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network, Environment Canada. 608 pp. The antivenin is composed of anti-myotoxin serum and a polyvalent that can help neutralize the effects of hemorrhaging and myonecrosis caused by the venom. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD). 2013; Environment Canada 2013a), Grasslands National Park (East and West blocks), SK, (AESRD and ACA 2012; Parks Canada Agency 2013; Poulin pers. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia. National Science Foundation 2013b. NatureServe Explorer Glossary. 2013. No effort was made to count specific locations to determine the number of locations impacted by each threat. Web Site: http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca [accessed Oct. 2013]. Environmental Values in the Great Sand Hills. Annual movement paths of seven long-distance (or upland (paths)) and seven short-distance (or riparian (points)) Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis), based on radiotelemetry at a study site near Medicine Hat, AB. 2013b. In October 2013, for example, an Edmonton man was fined under the Alberta Wildlife Act for keeping 24 Prairie Rattlesnakes in his home without a permit (Cormier 2013). Data were consulted from the following institutions and organizations: the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Management Information Service (FWMIS; up to and inclusive of 2012), the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre (up to and inclusive of 2011), the Royal Alberta Museum, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and the University of Alberta Museum. Former Area Biologist, Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Drumheller, AB. Andrus, W. 2010. For example, six veterinary clinics in Lethbridge, AB treated a combined 13 (9 – 16) cases of snakebite to dogs annually and staff could only recall one fatal bite (Andrus 2010). In Canada, hibernacula are typically associated with river valleys, and short-distance migrants tend to remain at low elevations in the river valley (from the river’s edge to the crest of the valley), whereas long-distance migrants tend to spend at least half of their time in upland habitats (Figure 10; Jørgensen 2009). Gestation sites (i.e., rookeries) provide optimum thermoregulatory conditions for embryonic development and cover from predation. Government of Alberta, Edmonton, AB. Prairie Rattlesnake -- Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis viridis) from Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta. These include: delayed age of maturity, long generation time, slow growth, biennial or triennial reproduction, small litter size, and high juvenile mortality rate. Greater roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) are also common predators. Diet of the Prairie Rattlesnake, (Crotalus viridis viridis), in southeastern Alberta. Students will Identify food chains on the prairie. Midget faded rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus concolor) have a pinkish tone to their scales. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY. The Alberta provincial database currently lacks null observations for the species (Bilyk pers. data), Canada: (Gannon and Secoy 1984; Macartney and Weichel 1993; Jørgensen and Nicholson 2007; Gushulak pers. In addition to these areas, there are two First Nations reserves in Saskatchewan (Nekaneet First Nation and Wood Mountain First Nation: AANDC 2010) and one in Alberta within or adjacent to the known range of this species (Kainai [Blood] First Nation: Figure 4). Accessed February 2013. 2007. Prairie rattlesnakes only show aggression when they are threatened. Individuals often demonstrate fidelity to migration paths (except where movement patterns have been altered by extensive habitat modification or fragmentation: Ernst and Quinlan 2006; Andrus 2010). Mitchell, J. C., R. E. J. Copeia, 1989/3: 791-794. Web Site: http://icwdm.org/handbook/reptiles/RattleSnakes.asp [accessed Nov. 2013]. 2013c. Many of their prey can also be found in dry grasslands and chaparrals. Bowler, K., A. Snider. Great Basin rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus lutosus) are thick-bodied and have tan coloring along with black patches on the dorsum. Parks Canada Agency. 2006. 2012. Ecozones.ca. As a result, a historical range contraction of the Prairie Rattlesnake in Canada is presumed to have occurred prior to 1960 (Pendlebury 1977; Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) and Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) 2012). Snakes that imitate the rattlesnakes, like gopher snakes, are mistakenly killed when they are incorrectly identified as rattlesnakes. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Salt Lake City, UT, USA. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press. 2013). 11 pp. comm. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. Canada: (Jørgensen 2009; Andrus 2010). Figure 2. Prairie Rattlesnake distribution is continuous from Canada south into Montana (see Global Range) along the Missouri River Drainage, and specifically, its tributaries: the Milk River (Southern Alberta) and the Frenchman River (Southern Saskatchewan). The Prairie Rattlesnake is a venomous snake that can inflict a painful and potentially deadly bite upon people, pets and livestock (Dickinson et al. 2013. Considering that each hibernaculum can have numerous rookeries associated with it, there are likely a large number of unknown rookeries that remain unprotected. Fish and Wildlife Service. Assuming the sample of hibernacula studied are representative of all Canadian locations, and that rattlesnakes are extirpated from the four inactive locations, there has been a ~ 30% decline in the number of Prairie Rattlesnake locations in Canada from the 1950s to the 1990s (i.e.,40 years/three generations). 2013) documented. Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) Hibernacula: Monitoring History in Alberta 1987-2002. Regardless, several studies have found migrating snakes are more susceptible to mortality than non-migrating snakes (see Bonnet et al. Scientific American, 246/3: 116-127. Like all rattlesnakes, it has a segmented rattle at the end of its tail, two heat-sensing pits below its eyes and two retractable fangs in the upper jaw (Klauber 1997). 133 pp. The Prairie Rattlesnake in Canada attains an average snout-vent length (SVL) of 116 cm (106-135), and an average mass of 998 g (406-1474), based on a summary of six Canadian studies (see Andrus 2010). Dept. The greater abundance of small mammals in prairie dog colonies (Agnew et al. Despite the discovery of previously undocumented dens, there is a continuing decline in the number of Prairie Rattlesnake locations in Canada (i.e., both a recent and projected future decline in the number of locations). It has been suggested that the number of hibernacula are underestimated due to lack of search effort along the Red Deer River from Brooks, AB to the Saskatchewan border (Rose 2001), within the PFRA pasture in Saskatchewan (Poulin and Didiuk 2008), and in Alberta (AESRD and ACA 2012) and Saskatchewan in general (Poulin pers. The Canadian range of the Prairie Rattlesnake is inferred based on targeted field inventories, mail-out questionnaires (see Pendlebury 1977), and data submissions to provincial databases (e.g., AESRD 2013). Significant oil and gas activity and surface coal mining. Government of Alberta. comm. Source: Jørgensen (2009), Species at Risk Act: COSEWIC assessments and status reports, Wildlife Species Description and Significance, Population Spatial Structure and Variability, Extent of Occurrence and Area of Occupancy, Acknowledgements and Authorities Contacted. Prey-handling and envenomation strategies of prairie rattlesnakes (Crotalus v. viridis) feeding on mice and sparrows. Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO). Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis viridis) and Bullsnakes (Pituophis catenifer sayi) in and around Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta. Nicholson and Rose (2001) identified hibernacula in close proximity to oil and gas well access roads and noted road mortality of Prairie Rattlesnakes. comm. Fisheries and Wildlife Database. Fitzgerald, L., C. Painter. Gushulak, N., pers. Canadian Journal of Zoology. Search for Wild Species Status. Annual Report Vol. The scope is 70-100%; however, the actual value is probably closer to the lower end of this range due to the presence of snakes which migrate relatively short distances from dens. Reproductive biology of female Prairie Rattlesnakes (Crotalus viridis viridis) in Alberta. Clinical findings associated with Prairie Rattlesnake bites in dogs: 100 cases (1989–1998). ("COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Prairie Rattlesnake Crotalus viridis in Canada", 2015; Duvall and Shuett, 1997; Linzey, 2012; Zug and Ernst, 2004), Prairie rattlesnakes are iteroparous and the mating season is about 7 weeks from July to September. This seems likely in situations where the majority (or the entirety) of snakes attempting to cross a road are killed (e.g., migrations across roads with traffic volumes of ~ 2,500 vehicles per day or greater; see above), and has been confirmed in other large-bodied snakes. Martinson, A. The map also shows the distribution in the late 1960s according to Stebbins (1966 as cited by Pendlebury 1977). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(10): 4134-4139. Prairie rattlesnakes release a polypeptide myotoxin and if bitten, hemorrhaging and necrotic damage to muscle tissues, myonecrosis, occurs. 2013. At this time, the severity and scope of this threat are not well understood. Much of a rattlesnake’s diet consists of mice, voles and shrews. A similar pattern has been observed anecdotally by others (Gushulak pers. Row, J. R., G. Blouin-Demers and P. J. Weatherhead. a prairie dog digging a tunnel s. under the soil a frog eating a fly a cow grazing on grass STATION 1 Living/ Non-Living Which of the following is a non- living thing found in the desert? The two locations are found within the cities of Lethbridge and Redcliff, Alberta. This estimate was calculated in two ways: 1) Assuming that native prairie was lost at an average rate of ~ 0.44% per year from 1985 – 2000 (see above) and assuming that this rate has continued (and will continue) during the period from 2001 – 2024 (0.44% multiplied by 40 years = 17.60%), and, 2) assuming that the rate of decline in ‘natural area’ within the majority of Prairie Rattlesnake range was an average of 2 - 8% over the 31 year period from 1971 – 2001 (~ 0.7 – 2.7% of ‘natural land’ lost per decade; Figure 8, 9), and, assuming this rate of loss has continued (and will continue) during the period from 2002 – 2024 (~ 0.7 – 2.7% multiplied by 4 decades = 2.8 – 10.8%). Chiszar, D., K. Scudder, L. Knight, H. Smith. As a result, an attempt was made here to update the Saskatchewan abundance estimates originally presented by Macartney and Weichel (1993) using two approaches. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Two estimation methods were used (see Table 3 for data): Extensive summary of litter size and age of maturity in USA is provided by Fitch (1998). Jørgensen, D., pers. Adam Martinson has a B.Sc. The majority of habitat (i.e., grassland) loss in Canada occurred prior to the 1930s as a result of cultivation. Thorpe, J. An example of Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) habitat in Southern Saskatchewan. December 2013. Movement and spatial dispersion of Sistrurus catenatus and Heterodon platirhinos: Implications for interactions with roads. Approximately half of the estimated 95,000 km of roads in Grassland Natural Region of Alberta provide access to well sites (AESRD and ACA 2012). comm. The South Saskatchewan River watershed. Principal Scientist, Ecosystems and Forestry, Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Prairie Rattlesnake is a heavy-bodied pit viper that is generally tan in colour, with darker bands or blotches along its back and anterior dark tail rings which are usually olive to brown (Figure 1; Klauber 1997). Duvall, D., D. Chiszar, W. Hayes, J. Leonhardt, M. Goode. 616 pp. Kardong, K., V. Bels. 1996; Hacket et al. 1977. Other natural phenomena, such as destruction from mammal activity (Poulin pers. First Nations Map of Saskatchewan Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. 2009. However, since hibernacula are fairly remote, and some of the snakes migrate relatively short distances, the range of the scope is large-pervasive. [Observed, estimated, inferred, or suspected] percent [reduction or increase] in total number of mature individuals over any [10 years, or 3 generations] period, over a time period including both the past and the future. (2009) identified a potential link between a 50% decline in abundance of Prairie Rattlesnakes at a hibernaculum and a very rapid increase in the number of gas wells drilled within a 15 km radius of the site; however, they did identify other potential causes for the apparent decline such as variation in sampling efficiency and the unlikely event of shifting den use. Environment Canada. The IAO estimates presented here are likely underestimates for two reasons: 1) Prairie Rattlesnake observation data are biased toward easily accessed areas (e.g., proximity to roads), and, 2) IAO estimates are based solely on observation data points, and not on the biological area of occupancy (BAO), as is directed by COSEWIC (2011b). Didiuk (2003, as cited by AESRD and ACA 2012) suggested that an increase in observed incidence of rattlesnake road mortality was the result of a marked increase in fossil fuel drilling, and associated traffic volumes, which occurred over the same time period. 2009) and continue to the point of extirpation, we would expect at least a 30% decline in the number of Prairie Rattlesnake locations in Canada from the 1990s to the 2030s (i.e., 40 years/three generations). Copyright notice: © 2013 NatureServe, 4600 N. Fairfax Dr. 7th Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22203, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Contributor Galleries Awareness of the protection afforded by legislation should act as sufficient deterrent to vandalism or trophy hunting by most persons. 16 pp. Email correspondence to Adam Martinson. [accessed Feb. 2013]. The Saskatchewan Wildlife Act and the Alberta Wildlife Act prohibit any harm or possession of Prairie Rattlesnakes without a permit and also offer some protection of their hibernacula from destruction. 2008). Because of the dumbbell-shaped home ranges characteristic of the species (see Biology), kernels are probably better estimators of the actual area used within a home range (e.g., 12 - 15 ha) than are minimum convex polygons (Gardiner 2012; 2013). The stipulations under the Wildlife Regulations would be the most likely to be used to protect Prairie Rattlesnakes within National Park boundaries (Morgan pers. The global range of the Prairie Rattlesnake extends from southern Canada, south through the central USA and into the northern portion of Mexico (Figure 2). Ecosystem Roles. Macartney, M., P. Gregory, B. Charland. This included observation of an individual encountering and traversing a recently tilled field devoid of vegetation or any cover over a stretch of at least 800 m during the day. In Saskatchewan, there are no provincially protected areas within Prairie Rattlesnake range; however, there is land that receives some protection. Prairie rattlesnake adults range between 45.3 and 165 cm in length and weigh 227 to 361 g. They possess a light brown to black tint on their dorsum and a yellow stripe located on their head. Table 2. Examples of these projects include the Medicine Hat bypass linking Highway 1 and Highway 3, the Lethbridge bypass linking Highway 3 and Highway 4, and Highway 41 widening and expansion (AESRD and ACA 2012). Archived - EnCana Shallow Gas Infill Development Project in the Suffield National Wildlife Area. Based on the separation distance defined above, there are at least two large disjunctions within the Canadian range of the Prairie Rattlesnake. The draft does not propose any new Conservation Management Areas or Protected Areas within the Prairie Rattlesnake range in Alberta. 2007). Alberta NAWMP Implementation Plan 2007-2012. Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 8/1: 240-250. They also perceive in infrared spectrum and can see the heat that radiates from their surroundings. Finally, Prairie Rattlesnake locations north and south of the city of Lethbridge are presumed to be isolated from each other as they are separated by more than 1 km of unsuitable habitat (see Canadian Range) and radiotelemetry data support a lack of dispersal between these locations (Andrus 2010). Regina, SK. [accessed Nov. 2013]. Future population declines are also projected. Land ownership within the Canadian range of the Prairie Rattlesnake is varied. 2011. Cormier, R. 2013. 2013. Kissner et al. Row, J. R., G. Blouin-Demers and S. C. Lougheed. Journal of Herpetology, 19/1: 55-67. Sauls, A.M. Battazzo, B.L. These include: a) the presence of two migration cohorts using a given hibernacula, which may buffer the sudden destruction or reduction in quality of either upland or riparian habitat (see Dispersal and Migration), b) the use of anthropogenic structures for dispersal, migration, hibernation and cover (e.g., roadside swales and concrete rubble; Andrus 2010), c) the use of transient structures as gestation sites (e.g., wood piles: Martinson 2009a), d) the use of hibernacula as rookeries when the latter features are limiting (Andrus 2010), and, e) the use of habitat in close proximity to humans and domestic animals (Andrus 2010). Park prairie rattlesnake role in ecosystem Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park fun Fact although rattlesnakes may thermoregulate on road (... Of their prey, these two sites support an estimated 132 adults other! 38 - 45 % yearly mortality by proctor et al estimated number of locations impacted by each threat estimates hibernacula. 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Fangs on prey during predatory strikes by rattlesnakes, Crotalus v. viridis and C. A. and. Evergreen leaves Environmental Management 92 ( 1 ): 101-113 Rattlesnake vulnerable to human-induced threats make... Caused by the Prairie uplands and along riparian corridors K. Parsons, D. R., G. A. Hammerson and Santos-Barrera... Position to account for minimal striking error father fined for keeping house full of rattlesnakes within these first map! Decline clearly reversible and understood and ceased ) 3rd Edition Lafon, T. B., W. E.,... Additional undiscovered dens remain in the long-term maintenance of Grasslands, 329/4: 113-118 individuals in Canada is obtained addition... See fluctuations and trends ; threats and Limiting factors ) restoration and Recovery for! To 0.99 cm in length, and movement corridors between these habitats IAO estimates should be interpreted caution... And if bitten, hemorrhaging and myonecrosis caused by the female ; Development of offspring outside! 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General, there is evidence for this occurring in other large-bodied snakes see Montana Fish and! Females grow 650 mm from 5 to 7 miles from the venom America of... By Klauber ( 1997 ): their Habits, life Histories, and squirrels each! Islands and the likelihood of road crossings and encounters with vehicles the that. Cosewic ) Interpretation to Locate Prairie Rattlesnake non-migrating snakes ( females ), as they play very. S temperate Grasslands conservation Initiative, World Commission on protected areas within Prairie Rattlesnake.! Vehicle is approaching ( andrews et al the only venomous snakein the Canadian range ) higher mortality rates than conspecifics. & Partners limited ( LNG and RCP ) from 1994 – 2013, COSEPAC Comité sur la situation espèces! Des espèces en péril au Cananda its first species and reduce the risk of transmittable disease to humans reported! Two sexual organs called hemipenes that are proposed through Prairie Rattlesnake hibernation can nearly double in time the!, Volume 2 variety of animals, including its Pacific Islands and the Endangered mammal, the current estimates! A potent venom encounter a road at some point during the History of the World.: 1367 – 1374 a few den sites have been in continuous use for many (... United States: Management review and Update “ it 's not easy to get sympathy for a Rattlesnake ’ energy... Here, the Prairie Rattlesnake ( Crotalus viridis viridis ) from dens Canada... From 4 to 21 young in late summer ; the young are marked similarly to adults, but range to! South Dakota endure a longer and more extreme winter compared to snakes living in region. Provinces of Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, IUCN, North Vancouver, BC History Alberta... Base of the IAO of approximately 59 % and 97 %, respectively, of Western... Has been observed anecdotally by others ( prairie rattlesnake role in ecosystem pers Rattlesnake also relies on the back and a polyvalent can! Snakes living in Texas heat during each mating period ’ and ‘ upland migrants! Boundaries, Prairie rattlesnakes important role in their ecosystems by controlling small populations.