- Share your observations
Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory.
- Contact information
- For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
- Rich Staffen
Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer)
Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer), a species of Special Concern and a Protected Wild Animal, prefer sand prairies, bluff prairies, oak savannas and pine and oak barrens. Overwintering can occur in sand prairies, where they often den singly by using mammal burrows or other structures to get below the frost line or they may den communally using deep rock fissures on southerly exposed bluff prairies. This species is active from late March through early October, breeds mid-April through May and lays it's eggs in sand cavities they create or under large flat rocks in late June to early July. The eggs hatch in late August to early September.
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 Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer). 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.
|Federal Status in Wisconsin||none|
|Tracked by NHI||Y|
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.
Links to additional Gophersnake information
Other links related to reptiles
Wildlife Action Plan
Natural community (habitat) associations
The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Gophersnake. Only natural communities for which Gophersnake 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 Gophersnake. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.
|Western Coulee and Ridges||3|
|Central Sand Plains||2|
|Central Sand Hills||1|
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.
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.