World Heritage event teaches about snakes

Did you know that the common garter snake is the world record holder for northern reptiles?

TRU professor Karl Larsen holds a common garter snake as he explains how to tell the males and the females of the species apart.

TRU professor Karl Larsen holds a common garter snake as he explains how to tell the males and the females of the species apart.

Did you know that the common garter snake is the world record holder for northern reptiles? Its range extends as far north as the southern Northwest Territories.

That was one of many facts about snakes given by Thompson Rivers University professor Karl Larsen during Snake Tales, a Wells Gray World Heritage Year event held last weekend.

“His enthusiasm for snakes is contagious and it was wonderful to be able to have him share his knowledge and experience,” said one participant.

Friday evening Larsen gave a lecture in Upper Clearwater Hall to a group of about 20 people, while on Saturday he led a field trip to look at snakes in the nearby area.

During the field trip he showed the participants how to tell the difference between male and female garter Garter snakesnakes.

“Easier than one might think!” one person said.

Another interesting fact about the garter snake is it is one of very few snakes that doesn’t lay eggs, giving birth instead to fully fledged young.

The TRU professor hopes to set up a research program on the garter snakes of the Clearwater Valley in the near future.

The next Wells Gray World Heritage Year event will be a talk this  Friday (July 19) about pioneer place names by Ellen Ferguson and Clara Ritcey.

This will be followed on Saturday by a fundraising bus tour to be led by Roland Neave, the author of Exploring Wells Gray Park. Although most Wells Gray World Heritage Year events are free, cost of this one is $45 per person, including transport from Kamloops or Clearwater and GST. For reservations, please call Wells Gray Tours: 250-374-0831 or 800-667-9552. Call early, as space is limited!  Proceeds from this tour will be used to support Wells Gray World Heritage Year.

 

On Wednesday, July 24, Neave will lead a trip to Helmcken Falls in the footsteps, 100 years later to the day, of Robert H. Lee, the first person to document Helmcken Falls, and indeed to name them.