Herpetofauna combines amphibians and reptiles. According to the Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, this category of animals has the highest percentage of at-risk species: among them, 40% of amphibians and 70% of reptiles are threatened with extinction.
Amphibians and reptiles live in wetlands, and aquatic and terrestrial environments to reproduce, feed and hibernate. In order to increase its knowledge about their presence at the Chambly Canal National Historic Site and properly plan for future rehabilitation work, Parks Canada is conducting a wildlife inventory of these species in targeted areas along the canal.
What are the species of turtles found near the Chambly Canal?
Snapping turtles, painted turtles, spiny softshell turtles and map turtles have been reported at or near the Canal.
When can I observe turtles at the Chambly canal?
In spring and summer, when sunning themselves on floating logs to warm up.
When the turtles lay their eggs?
In early June; turtles can also be seen digging nests in granular or sandy materials to lay their eggs.
A turtle uses all its vital energy to dig its nest; it is therefore very important not to approach or disturb turtles during that time since it could cause them to flee and lose their eggs.
In addition, turtles are very dedicated to the nesting site that they carefully chose for very specific temperature and humidity reasons. They return there every year to nest, unless the habitat has changed.
Unfortunately, with snapping turtles, the babies’ survival rate is less than 1% during the first year, and nearly 100% of the nests are raided by raccoons, red foxes and other predators near urban areas. Turtles have several ecosystem functions. They contribute to the balance of Chambly Canal’s biodiversity, which is why it’s important to protect their nests.
What are the species of anurans found near the Chambly Canal?
The green frog and bullfrog live at the Chambly Canal site, also the chorus frog is likely can be found there.
When can I observe anurans at the Chambly canal?
As soon as the snow melts, especially in the Fryer Island area.
These species are very useful to humans because they limit the number of insect pests, and their secretions are useful and highly studied in the field of medicine for developing vaccines.
What are the species of snakes found near the Chambly Canal?
Garter snakes are found along the canal. The milk, green and ringneck snakes may be seen in some areas of the canal.
Why snakes are useful for the ecosystem?
Quebec’s snakes are completely harmless and don’t have fangs. They are very useful for an ecosystem’s balance because they are both prey and predator, as well as exterminators of rodents that are sometimes harmful or overpopulated.
When can I observe snakes at the Chambly canal?
They prefer places where there is an abundance of shelter, such as planks, flat rocks and logs on the ground for hiding in. Like turtles, they need to warm themselves in the sun or under heat-absorbing items, like asphalt shingles or pieces of sheet metal. They can even lay their eggs there. Otherwise, they prefer to lay their eggs in stumps, mammal burrows, piles of leaves, under debris on the ground, or right in the ground if it’s loose.
The females stop eating for a few weeks before laying to conserve their energy for egg development rather than for searching for food.