Fast-moving and shy of humans, the blue racer is one of Canada’s rarest snakes, with fewer than 400 individuals left in the entire country.
Despite its smaller size and secretive behavior, the Butler’s gartersnake has a smaller range than most of Ontario’s snake species. Although it looks very similar to other Ontario snakes, the Butler’s gartersnake is unique in its diet, habitat, and range.
A subspecies of the northern cricket frog, Blanchard’s cricket frog is the most aquatic type of tree frog in North America. Despite many searches, there hasn’t been a confirmed record of this species in Canada since the early 1970s.
Habitat loss and fragmentation, and nest predation by raccoons and skunks, are the most significant threats to Blanding’s turtle populations. Other threats include motor vehicle collisions and illegal collection for the pet trade.
Although eastern foxsnakes have proven to be adaptable when it comes to humans encroaching on their territory — for example, using sheds and other structures for shelter — increased development is putting this unique species at risk.
Fowler’s toad is facing a severe threat of extirpation from Canada. They occur in Canada only along the northern shore of Lake Erie in extreme southern Ontario. One of the biggest threats facing Fowler’s toad habitat is the spread of an invasive reed.
The Massasauga is Ontario’s only remaining venomous reptile, but despite widespread persecution, it poses little threat to public safety. In First Nations traditions, the Massasauga is the medicine keeper of the land.
Water pollution poses a serious threat to northern map turtles, killing off the molluscs that female turtles depend on. In addition, invading zebra mussels in the Great Lakes region have crowded out native molluscs.
Now on the brink of extirpation from Canada, this frog is found only in British Columbia’s lower Fraser Valley, where it is believed that only 300 breeding individuals remain in small, widely scattered remnant populations.
The Pacific pond turtle was once a familiar sight in the ponds and lakes of southern British Columbia and Vancouver Island and along the west coast as far south as California and Mexico. This species is no longer found in Canada.
Snapping turtles are hunted, poached and hit by vehicles. Since they can take nearly 20 years to reach maturity, removing even a few adult snapping turtles can pose a serious threat to the population.
Due to shoreline development and agricultural activity, spiny softshell turtles have faced significant habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. They are easily disturbed during nesting.
Spotted turtles are the most cold-tolerant Ontario turtle species and are the first to emerge to bask in the spring — sometimes sunning themselves next to mounds of melting snow.
Western painted turtles prefer the shallow waters of ponds, lakes, marshes and slow-moving streams. They are the largest subspecies of painted turtle, with a shell that can reach 25 cm long.