Are There Snakes In Canada, Does Canada Have Snakes? - How Common Are Snakes In Canada?

Updated: 22 Apr 2021


are there snakes in canada

It is the most commonly asked question, are there snakes in Canada? Yes, there are 35 kinds of snakes in Canada. But one of them—the timber rattlesnake—is no longer around. As a result, COSEWIC has classified 12 surviving species as having a high risk of going extinct. In addition, there are isolated populations or subspecies of three other species that are also considered endangered. 

Contrary to popular belief, snakes are a beneficial addition to any garden. For instance, slugs' main predators are the garter snake. Invertebrates such as arachnids, parasites, snails, rodents, and rats are also prey for snakes. But today's question: does Canada have snakes? The short answer is yes. They contribute significantly to the management of pest populations in this way. They contribute to keeping any garden that welcomes them healthy. In the article, we will describe: does Canada have snakes?

Are There Snakes In Canada?

Yes, there are many types of snakes in Canada. However, the majority of Canadian snakes are timid and non-aggressive. They will try to stay away from human contact whenever feasible. So it's more probable that you'll hear their rustling. But snakes, like most wild animals, could bite to defend themselves, so it's best to leave them alone.

Most snakes found in Canada are not poisonous. Only the Western rattlesnake in southern British Columbia, southwestern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and the Massasauga rattlesnake in southwest Ontario are considered seriously dangerous. Despite being poisonous, these snakes rarely bite. Humans should stay away from them; unless provoked or harassed, they will not attack. However, they will bite if touched unintentionally, so when in the rattlesnake area, take caution and wear protective clothing. As a result of their restricted territories, rattlesnake bites are uncommon in Canada.

Are There Poisonous Snakes In Canada?

There are three endemic poisonous snake species In Canada:

  • Western rattlesnake
  • Prairie rattlesnake
  • Eastern massasauga rattlesnake

All these snakes are found alone in Canada and are members of the taxonomic subfamily pit viper.

The Georgian Bay region of Ontario is home to the massasauga rattlesnake. This species, which ranges in size from 50 to 70 cm, can be aggressive against people and animals. Their poisonous bites are lethal and produce severe agony.

Northern Pacific rattlesnakes are native to British Columbia, and their venom may kill blood cells. These poisonous snakes' dark brown bodies and erratic patterns let them blend very well with grass and soil.

Among the several snake species found in Canada, a handful are especially hazardous. Prairie rattlesnake bites in Alberta and southern Saskatchewan seldom result in death, although they can be pretty disorienting. Although the desert night snake does not have venom, its saliva is poisonous.

Are There Snakes In Alberta, Canada?

Although its bite seldom results in a human fatality, the prairie rattlesnake is the sole poisonous snake in Alberta. They won't attack unless they are startled or provoked.

As a measure of defense, many snakes will imitate venomous snakes. For instance, the black rat snake will make a rattle-like noise by rattling its tail through dry grass. Likewise, milk snakes have patterns that mirror those of deadly copperheads.

Are There Snakes In Ontario, Canada?

Two of Ontario's 16 different snake species are related to garter snakes. These non-venomous snakes are typically small, measuring an average of 40 to 80 centimeters in length. The most common reptile in Canada is the eastern garter snake, which you're likely to see even if you don't look.

Are There Rattlesnakes In Canada?

YES. The Massasauga is a rattlesnake with a thick body that is often between 50 and 70 centimeters long. It is the only venomous snake in Ontario, although it only bites to defend itself if it feels threatened or disturbed. It features a triangular head and a tail with a little rattle at the end that rattles to produce a buzzing sound.

Are There Copperhead Snakes In Canada?

Copperhead snakes are not native to Canada. These snakes live in the southern United States. A copperhead, a member of the viper family, and a non-native in Ontario.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Common Are Snakes In Canada?

In Canada, there are over 35 different snake species, 26 of which are indigenous. The number of species, however, is anticipated to rise with climate change. A snake attack is less likely to happen to you than being struck by lightning. In Canada, very few snakebites report annually.

2. Which Part Of Canada Has Snakes?

Most species are present in southern Canada. However, the common garter snake may be found in the Northwest Territories, close to Fort Smith, around the 60th parallel. Snakes may live in various environments, such as trees, freshwater, and underground tunnels.

3. Are There Any Dangerous Snakes In Canada?

There are three most dangerous and poisonous snakes in Canada:

  • Prairie rattlesnake in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta.
  • Massasauga in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario.
  • Western rattlesnake, in British Columbia.

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