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Oregon’s snakes could use a little more love

September 9, 2013

NW Garter Snake

The Northwestern Garter Snake likes grassy-brushy areas and weedy sections of suburban backyards and city parks. It is most active on warm, sunny days. It is found in western Oregon. Alan St. John photo.
Click to enlarge

Striped Whip Snake

The Striped Whipsnake can hunt with its head held above the ground, climbing into shrubs to pursue prey or evade predators. It is found in Eastern Oregon. Alan St. John photo.
Click to enlarge

SALEM, Ore.— Oregon’s snakes are plagued by misconceptions, which often leads to them being killed for no other reason than the fact they are present. To help conserve our native snakes, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has created two new fact sheets. One is a comprehensive flyer that provides photos and information about each of the 15 species of snakes that live in the state and advice on preventing and addressing conflicts. The other, S-s-s-s-s-snakes!, is designed for kids to learn more about these fascinating, ecologically important animals.

Download the fact sheets from the Living with Wildlife Section of ODFW’s website. Print copies of S-s-s-s-s-snakes! Facts for Kids are available by calling ODFW, (503) 947-6021.

Facts about Oregon’s Snakes

  • There are 15 native snake species in Oregon. Of these, only the Western Rattlesnake has poisonous venom that is dangerous to humans.
  • All snakes are ectotherms. They control their body temperature by moving in and out of the sunlight.
  • Snakes flick their tongues to help “smell” the air around them to sense danger and locate prey.

Snake Stories

To read what Oregon’s snake experts are working on, see the May 2013 issue of the Oregon Conservation Strategy Newsletter.

Living with Wildlife

Find information on Living with Wildlife on ODFW’s website.

Other fact sheets for kids include, Batty for Bats!,Whoooo Am I? and Frogs are Cool.



Susan Barnes, ODFW Conservation Biologist, (971) 673-6010
Meg Kenagy, ODFW Conservation Communications Coordinator, (503) 947-6021

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