PEI

Have you seen an Eastern smooth green snake?

P.E.I. wildlife officials want to learn more about the Eastern Smooth Green Snake, but a confirmed sighting hasn't happened in about 15 years.

P.E.I. wildlife officials asking public to snap a picture, take notes if snake spotted

The province is trying to learn more about the Eastern smooth green snake to help guide management decisions in the future. (www.esf.edu)

P.E.I. wildlife officials are looking for an old, green friend they haven't seen in a while.

Garry Gregory, a conservation biologist with the province, said it's been about 15 years since there has been a confirmed sighting of the Eastern smooth green snake — the rarest of three snake species on the Island. 

"We certainly think we still have the habitat here to support them. But we just have very little information on the population status and distribution in the province," said Gregory.

Snap a picture

Information about the snake's population and preferred locations can help wildlife officials with management decisions. People have reported sightings, but Gregory wants people to snap a picture and note where and when a sighting occurred. People are also encouraged to report a sighting using the P.E.I. Nature Tracker app.

Although the snake is believed to have a low population density, Gregory said it isn't endangered. Also, the snake, which is slender and usually between 20-30 centimetres long, isn't harmful to humans.

Garry Gregory, a conservation biologist with fish and wildlife section of the Department of Communities, Land and Environment, wants people to snap a picture and take notes, such as time and location, if they see an Eastern smooth green snake. (CBC)

Hard to spot

Gregory noted the snake is hard to spot in the grass and wetlands given its emerald green colour. Even so, he said people will recognize the snake if they see it. 

"This species ... is pretty, well unmistakable. There is no other [snake] species that occurs on P.E.I. that could really be confused with the green snake," he said.   

The Island's other snake species are the garter and the Northern redbelly.

With files from Stephanie Kelly

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