ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland, Oct. 1 (UPI) — Snakes, which aren’t native to Newfoundland, have been found breeding on the island, a provincial wildlife official has confirmed.
Bruce Rodriguez of the provincial department of environment and conservation said a pregnant garter snake was recently found in St. David’s on southwestern Newfoundland, Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News reported.
Introduced species such as garter snakes can cause problems, Rodriguez said.
“One species that snakes are known to eat, that can be important in a snake’s diet, is the meadow vole,” Rodriguez said Thursday. “On the island of Newfoundland, the meadow vole is a unique sub-species to the island and, of course, there’s always concerns about introduced animals bringing in disease to the province.”
Rodriguez said wildlife officials have been receiving reports of snakes on the island for more than a year and believe they may be arriving in the province in farm shipments such as hay bales.
“There was a young snake picked up last year, probably one that was just born, and turned over to a pet store in western Newfoundland,” he told the CBC. “With the amount of evidence we have, we can say that there is a population [in western Newfoundland] that has survived at least one winter.”
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