red garters

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Narcisse Snake Dens

The dens are the winter home of tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis). These pits are the largest concentration in the world of this particular type of snake. Their winter dens are subterranean caverns formed by the area’s water-worn limestone bedrock. In the spring, they come up from their dens to the snake pits, where they engage in mating rituals. Then they disperse into the nearby marshes for the summer. The conservation area is open to the public. The snakes are most active during the spring and fall - in late April to early May, which is the mating season, and also in early September, when the snakes slither back down to their winter dens.

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