As temperatures begin to warm in the weeks ahead, wildlife will begin to emerge from their winter hibernation to reclaim their territories. Since they can not regulate their own body heat, cold-blooded species must bury themselves in dens, under rocks, or below ponds or lakes for months during the cold months to survive,

See Also: New York DEC Documents Amphibious Life Emerging From Winter [VIDEO]

These animals may even appear dead, but they're not. YPTE describes it as diapause -  where species like snakes "use up just a small amount of their store of body fat and can survive for some weeks, barely alive."

Snakes Are Coming 

According to SUNY, there are seventeen different species of snakes found in New York. And while some may find them terrifying, ecologists will tell you these slithery serpents play a critical role in the environment.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation says that snakes often rely on natural cavities and the burrows of other animals to survive the winter.

See Also: New York State Officials Seize Large Python From Home

During colder months, typically between October and March, the NY DEC says a "hundred or more individuals of different species can gather in the same den", as they "slow down their metabolism and tightly coil their bodies together to stay warm enough to survive."

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Once the Earth starts to warm up, snakes emerge, says the DEC.

Most Common Snakes in New York

SUNY says that the most common and abundant species of snakes in New York state are the garter snake and the water snake. Garter snakes are often found in woodlands, marshes, and fields, and also exist "quite well around human habitations."

See Also: Yikes! Do You Know What New York's Official State Reptile Is?

They are non-venomous, but can but can be aggressive and will readily strike if they feel threatened. Some humans can have an allergic reaction to their bite,

According to the Gavin McClinsey YouTube Channel, garter snakes can have quite a tolerance for low temperatures though.

Water snakes are found in or near waterbodies or wetlands, and can grow up to 42 inches long. They are often mistaken for water moccasins. Water snakes are known to be very aggressive, and have a "nasty disposition", says SUNY.

However, the National Wildlife Federation says they are not venomous.

See Also: Man Sentenced For Smuggling Pythons in His Pants Over New York State Border


The Most Annoying New York State Nuisance Wildlife Species

New York is full of amazing wildlife... some are great, and some are not so great. These are the ones that just straight up annoy New Yorkers.

Gallery Credit: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation