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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
608-266-4340

Plains Gartersnake (Thamnophis radix)


Overview

Overview

Plains gartersnakes (Thamnophis radix) are a Species of Special Concern in Wisconsin and prefer almost any open-canopy wetland type (not open water) and adjacent open to semi-open canopy upland, including prairies, old fields and weedy vacant lots. They also prefer low-canopy vegetation (<24"), although they will occupy habitats with taller vegetation such as reed canary grass. This species can be active from mid-March through early November, usually emerging shortly after frost-out and remaining active until daytime temperatures fall consistently below 50 deg. F. Breeding usually occurs in April or early May but can occur in fall and live young are born between mid-July and mid-August.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Plains Gartersnake (Thamnophis radix). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Thamnophis radix in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/H
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2?
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


A guidance document is not available at this time. Use the information from the other tabs and contact local biologists, as needed, to develop management and avoidance strategies.

Photos/Video

Photos


Plains Gartersnake

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.


Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Plains Gartersnake. Only natural communities for which Plains Gartersnake is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Plains Gartersnake. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Plains Gartersnake occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.


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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.


* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, May 04, 2017