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Thamnophis sauritus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA NATRICIDAE

Scientific Name: Thamnophis sauritus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Ribbonsnake, Eastern Ribbon Snake

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs widely in the east of the United States, and extends into southern Canada. Its range extends from Wisconsin to southern Maine and Nova Scotia, and south discontinuously to southeastern Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida (Conant and Collins 1991, Rossman et al. 1996, Ernst and Ernst 2003). This species has been reported from the Bahamas but may not be established there (see Powell and Henderson 1999).
Countries:
Native:
Canada; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). The adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. This snake is locally common in many parts of its large range. Populations may be declining in some areas (Ernst and Ernst 2003), but overall the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitats include wet meadows, marshes, seasonally flooded prairies, bogs, ponds, lake shorelines, swamps, and shallow slow streams; also hardwood hammocks and other wet or moist forest in some areas; usually this snake is in or near vegetative cover (often shrubs or clumps of sedges or grasses) in sun-exposed sites along the edge of standing or flowing water; it climbs into low vegetation, rarely into tree canopy (Bishop and Farrell 1994 Herpetological Review 25: 127, Rossman et al. 1996, Harding 1997, Ernst and Ernst 2003). Shelters include thick vegetation, muskrat lodges, or burrows. Hibernation sites are in burrows, ant mounds, underground on high ground (sometimes high on rocky slopes), or underwater.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In most areas, this snake is not significantly threatened. Ernst and Ernst (2003) stated that populations are declining over much of the range because of habitat destruction, but this likely pertains primarily to peripheral populations or areas where the species is naturally rare. Degradation of shoreline vegetation is believed to result in population declines (Harding 1997). Locally, large numbers are killed on roads (Rossman et al. 1996), but this may be more a reflection of local abundance than a significant threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Barbour, R.W. 1971. Amphibians and Reptiles of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky. x + 334 pp.

Bartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Dundee, H.A. and Rossman, D.A. 1989. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ernst, C.H. and Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of Eastern North America. George Mason University Press, Fairfax, Virginia. 282 pp.

Ernst, C.H. and Ernst, E.M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.

Harding, J.H. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan. xvi + 378 pp.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Minton Jr., S.A. 1972. Amphibians and reptiles of Indiana. Indiana Academy Science Monographs 3: v + 346 pp.

Mount, R.H. 1975. The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

Rossman, D.A., Ford, N.B. and Seigel, R.A. 1996. The Garter Snakes. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma and London, UK.

Tennant, A. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of Florida. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xiii + 257 pp.


Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Thamnophis sauritus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 October 2014.
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