July 15, 2015 9:07 pm

Growing concern over rattlesnake habitats in south Okanagan

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OSOYOOS – Growing human population means a greater demand for development. But these developments are causing rattlesnake habitats to disappear, threatening their population.

Two graduate students from Thompson Rivers University are conducting two-year studies on the reptiles.

Jason Maida is doing his research at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and studying the rattlesnake population in the south Okanagan.

Maida says urban developments such as golf courses, condominiums, vineyards and orchards are threatening rattlesnake habitats.

Stephanie Winton has taken her research to the protected area of the White Lake basin, where no such developments exists, but the reptiles have another threat: drivers.

Winton’s study aims to explain why rattlesnakes are on roads in order to reduce the number of road moralities.

Since April, she has found about 20 dead rattlesnakes.

Both Maida and Winton believe their research will help lessen the impact humans are having on rattlesnakes.

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