Lake Erie Watersnake

By- Jiyeong Ha and Melina Hartwick

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About the Animal

Physical Features-

The length of the Lake Erie Watersnake is from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet long.

The colour of the snakes scales are pale grey to dark brown and may of a faint pattern of dark grey or brown bands.

The snake is an excellent swimmer, rarely swimming more than 50 m away from shore and going about 3 m below the surface of the water. It mainly eats fish, unlike other snakes that eat mice or other animals. Since the colour of the snakes skin is a pale colour it allows them to camouflage into limestone, hiding them from their predators.

Description of Home and Habitat-

The Lake Erie Watersnake lives on many of the Lake Erie Islands. This snake uses limestone rocks, ledges and crevices for hiding and is rarely found far from the rocky shoreline of the Lake Erie Islands. They may also use places with a significant amount of vegetation that the snake can use to hide.

It usually makes underground holes or sleeps under rocks or logs, providing a hiding place for the snake.

The snake is found on the Lake Erie Islands, on the rocky shoreline or in the water.

Role in the Food Chain-

The snakes diet is made up of goby fish, snapping turtles, raccoons, birds, small foxes, which makes them a carnivore since they are eating other living animals.

In the water the snake may dive to catch their fleeing food. It may also be able to camouflage to hide from their prey, catching it off gaurd and eating it.

The snake fits into the food chain as a carnivore since it eats other living things or animals.

Breeding Patterns-

The Lake Erie Watersnake mates with several males at once, not just one each year (several males each year).

The average of young is in range from 9-50 but mostly has an average of 27 young.

The snake gives birth in late summer to early autumn each year.

History of the Lake Erie Watersnake

How Did It Become Endangered-

The Lake Erie Water snake became endangered on August 16, 2011.

It is threatened by habitat destruction from the development of cottages and homes along the shoreline. Road mortality and predation also threaten the snake.

Lake Erie Water Snakes eat a lot of round goby fish. Round goby's eat a lot of zebra and quagga mussels, insects, small organisms by the lake or river, and sometimes small fish or fish eggs. They also lay eggs several times a year which will help them expand the amount of their species. If the snake doesn't eat the goby fish, the fish will eat all of the species they eat and suddenly all the prey that the round goby fish eat will die out or become an endangered species.


Attempts to Protect-

The species is protected by the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, which protects the snake and its habitat from construction, debris or chemicals and other matters or things that could be harmful to the snake. Protecting the endangered animal (the Lake Erie WAtersnake) and its habitat.