Beijing time, June 19, according tomedia reports, like groups of mountain bikers, hikers and cross-country runners, the western rattlesnake often long-distance migration, spring from the comfortable hibernate nest to climb out of the open areas to find food. However, a new study shows that the number of rattlesnakes living in the western part of Canada is declining at an alarming rate.
1, pictured is a western rattlesnake living in a winter nest.
For years, the Thompson River University team has been investigating trends and migration strains in the world’s northernmost rattlesnake population, which is found mainly in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, one of three species of rattlesnake in Canada and the only rattlesnake in British Columbia.
2. A rattlesnake is killing a squirrel.
Scientists are interested in snakes distributed across Canada, where snakes have shorter active seasons than those that live in the southern latitudes of the earth, and the cold winters in Canada make rattlesnakes hide. Previous records have shown that many different kinds of snakes share caves, but this phenomenon is becoming increasingly rare.
Rattlesnakes living in British Columbia are suffering from an existential crisis, and many populations are declining at an alarming rate, and while the idea of reducing the number may attract the attention of scientists, it is sure to have a knock-on effect on the already ecologically threatened grassland ecosystems. For example, rattlesnakes play an important role in the grassland food chain, they are medium predators, control the number of rodents on the grasslands, and are a food source for large predators such as the endangered North American moths.
What does the rattlesnake study reveal?
Rattle snakes often migrate in large numbers from winter nests to summer habitats, sometimes for several kilometres. Usually their hibernating nests are very remote and secluded, and there are many dangers during migration.
It is likely that the biggest existential threat to Canadian rattlesnakes is roads, and in a sparsely populated country, even if there are fewer vehicles on the roads, it can have a disastrous impact on the number of snakes. Road deaths are the main cause of the decline in snake populations in British Columbia, with a new study showing a 6.6 per cent annual decline in the number of snakes in the region, resulting in a 97 per cent reduction in the number of snakes in the last 40 years.
Snakes are also threatened by environmental pollution, human killing, and habitat destruction, especially when their habitats overlap with human habitats, such as vineyards, orchards, golf courses, campsites or hiking routes, and are often worse off than other wild-field snakes.
Historical data show that the Okanagan Valley region of British Columbia, where there was a large number of rattlesnakes, is one of the fastest growing areas in Canada’s cities. Unfortunately, this means that the snake’s habitat will not improve, but despite this, these snakes still insist on choosing some high-quality habitats.
Rattle snakes are very dangerous reptiles that make a snup, a warning sign, and they are named for them. Their mottled colors blend perfectly with surrounding rocks and shrubs, making it difficult to spot, which is why it is difficult for scientists to estimate their exact number.
3. Once visitors find rattlesnakes, these poisonous snakes will put up their tails and make a squealing sound to defend their territory.
Because the number of rattlesnakes is difficult to count, the full count of rattlesnakes in British Columbia dates back to 1985, when graduate Malcolm McCartney (J. McCartney) Malcolm Macartney analyzed the number of rattlesnakes in a private cattle farm.
To find out what has changed in the number of rattlesnakes over the past 35 years, researchers have climbed cliffs in search of rattlesnake nests that Were Investigated by Maccartney decades ago.
On the steep cliffs, tall yellow pines are grown, lush meadows and turquoise lakes surround them. Decades have passed, and although the location has not changed, the landscape has changed, and in 1986, a year after Magalni completed the count of rattlesnakes, half of the cattle farm was fenced off as a provincial park for recreation.
This environment forms a unique natural experiment: half of the rattlesnakes still live in a closed cattle farm, and the other half live in a park open to the public, which receives about 250,000 visitors each summer.
The mystery of rattlesnake needs to be solved
While it will take a few months to fully understand the trends in rattlesnake populations, we know that their numbers are somewhat closely related to rattlesnakes and the land environment.
Will there be more rattlesnakes living in areas with fewer human swarms than in other areas? We are analyzing data that rattlesnakes living in sparsely visited areas seem to be 10 times more likely to issue squealing warnings to passers-by, and are 10 times less likely to encounter human rattlesnakes.
Although this work is still in its early stages, it is shown that rattlesnakes change their behaviour based on the probability of human severance in their foraging areas, and that understanding exactly why rattlesnakes reduce and change their behaviour is a very complex issue, and that the survival of rattlesnakes raises more attention to the delicate balance between species conservation and human activity. If humans want to protect the number of rattlesnakes, they will have to adjust the balance between human habitat and rattlesnakes.