The Narcisse Snake Pits are positioned 6 km north of the agricultural settlement of Narcisse within the province of Manitoba in Canada. These pits harbour the biggest focus of Crimson-sided Garter Snakes on the earth.Throughout winter, the snakes hibernate inside subterranean caverns shaped by the realm’s water-worn limestone bedrock. Shortly after the snow melts in late April and early Might, tens of 1000’s of those snakes slip out of their limestone dens and hang around on the floor of the bottom performing their mating rituals in nice tangled heaps.
The male snakes are often the primary to awaken from the lengthy winter hibernation and attain the floor the place they wait patiently for the females to return out.
Because the females slither out of the caves, the males pounce on the helpless females wanting to mate with them. As many as 50 or extra males assault a single feminine forming a writhing, shifting “mating ball” of snakes.
These large snake balls are all over the place – on ledges, tree limbs, on crops and on the bottom. Some mating balls slowly roll down rocks like tangled balls of twine. Professor Mason, a professor of zoology from Oregon State College estimated that there have been 35,000 snakes at one pit alone and greater than 250,000 within the common space.
There are 4 lively snake dens on the Narcisse Wildlife Administration Space. The dens are related by a three-kilometer self-guiding interpretive path. Vacationers come from everywhere in the world to view this spectacle from statement platforms constructed subsequent to the dens, as do many scientists to check these non-venomous creatures.
The inhabitants of red-sided garter snakes round Narcisse was roughly 70,000 till horrible climate in 1999 killed tens of 1000’s of them earlier than they might attain their winter dens. This tragedy triggered concern in regards to the snakes’ biannual migratory path, which cuts proper throughout Freeway 17.
Yearly, ten thousand snakes making an attempt to get to or from their winter dens had been crushed beneath the wheels of autos. This had not been an issue earlier than, as a result of the huge inhabitants compensated for the losses. After the winter of 1999, nonetheless, the inhabitants of garter snakes was dangerously low, inflicting Manitoba Hydro and volunteers to intervene.
Foot-high snow fences have been constructed to drive snakes into 15-cm tunnels that went beneath Freeway 17. Since some snakes nonetheless managed to squeeze beneath the fence and onto the highway, indicators have been put up through the migratory season urging motorists to decelerate to keep away from by accident driving over snakes.
These measures labored, and now lower than a thousand snakes per season are killed on the freeway.