|This pregnant garter snake was found on private property in St. David’s this summer and is believed to be evidence the reptiles may be inhabiting Newfoundland.|
A story written by Gary Kean, Staff Writer for the Western Star (Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada) today (October 3, 2010) reports a gravid female of the Maritime Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis pallidulus, was collected from a flower garden in St. David’s and sent to the forestry office in St. George’s. It is currently being kept at the Salmonier Nature Park on the province’s east coast. The story quotes Bruce Rodriguez, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Environment and Conservation in Corner Brook, who said, “We talked to the person in St. David’s and found out there were at least two or three other people in the area who had spotted snakes...We think this is enough to confirm there are snakes, at least in this smaller area.” Another report said a baby snake had been found and brought to a pet store in Stephenville, but the snake died and its remains were not sent to wildlife officials. In 2009 stories from residents living between Robinsons and Maidstone on St. George’s Bay told of people finding snakes in their gardens. Rodriquez could not say whether the reptile has been introduced to the area inadvertently or on purpose. The snakes may have been released in the area by pet owners who no longer wanted to keep them or could have arrived hidden among cargo shipped to the island from the mainland. Attempts to find more snakes this summer were unsuccessful.
Conant and Collins' account for the Maritime Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis pallidulus, show it throughout Nova Scotia and costal mainland Labrador, but absent from Anticosta Island and Newfoundland. The snake was found at about 48º55" N latitude. It is difficult to resistant suggesting that the snakes have colonized this island because the temperature of the planet is increasing.