Prairie Post (East Edition)
Warm weather brings Prairie Rattlesnakes out of hibernation
With the arrival of warmer weather, the prairie rattlesnake will soon emerge from hibernation and become more active. Snakes on a Plain is pleased to announce rattlesnake safety training classes are now available to the public. The experiential one-day course will be offered on April 30 and on May 13, featuring both a classroom and a field component.
Prairie rattlesnakes can be common in some parts of southern Alberta and in isolated locations in southwest Saskatchewan. During spring emergence, prairie rattlesnakes (and other local snake species) will spend the days basking to rev up their metabolisms before dispersing for the summer.
While prairie rattlesnakes are an important part of the local ecosystem, their venomous bite can be dangerous. As such, it is important to take steps to reduce the risk of snake encounters when engaging in outdoor activities. To safely enjoy the outdoors during snake season, the public is advised to follow these safety tips:
1. Wear protective clothing, such as long pants and closed-toe shoes when hiking or walking in areas where snakes may be present. Footwear that covers the ankles is a good idea, as is using a trekking pole when exploring.
2. Stay on designated trails and avoid tall grass, rocky outcroppings, and other areas where snakes may be basking or congregating.
3. Keep a safe, respectful distance from any snakes that are encountered. Never attempt to handle or capture a snake. It is illegal to capture, harass or harm wild snakes.
4. Keep pets on a leash and under close supervision when in snake habitat.
5. Keep in mind that not all rattlesnakes can or will rattle, and that other local species such as the bullsnake may mimic rattlesnake behaviour.
In the event of a snakebite, seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to treat the bite yourself, as this can lead to serious complications. Our local rattlesnakes are an important part of the local ecosystem and play a valuable role in controlling rodent populations. By taking the proper precautions, the public can safely coexist with these fascinating and important creatures.
If a rattlesnake is in danger or trapped in a residential yard, please contact local bylaw. If local bylaw is not available, Snakes on a Plain is permitted by the Alberta government to safely capture and relocate rattlesnakes. This service is provided to local residents at no charge.
For more information on prairie rattlesnakes or rattlesnake safety training, please visit
www.facebook.com/snakesonaplain or www.snakesonaplain.ca.
Snakes on a Plain is a local company based out of Redcliff, Alberta that is dedicated to the conservation of Alberta’s snake species. Offering relocation services, safety instruction, biological surveys, as well as environmental consulting, management and monitoring, Snakes on a Plain is Alberta’s one-stop-shop for snake support.