Bullsnake is a particular species of gopher snakes in Canada. It is considered great size snakes in Canada, occasionally exceeding 2 m in length. Adults bullsnake are yellowish with black, brown, or reddish-brown blotches on their dorsal and lateral scales on their bodies. It has a narrow scale at the tip of the nose and mouth that is raised above the nearby scales, a dark line that composite the head in front of the eyes, a dark band from the eye to the angle of the jaw, and some dark vertical spot in the direction below the eye.


Classification of Bullsnake

  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Colubridae
  • Genus: Pituophis
  • Species: P. Catenifer
  • Subspecies: P. c. Sayi

Special Significance of Bullsnake

Bullsnake is one of the largest snakes found in Canada. The northern area covered by the species distribution in Alberta of an egg-laying snake in Canada. Bullsnake may also be economically important given that it’s primarily killed by others for food is small mammals and some of the species that are killed by others upon cause damage to agricultural crops.

Some landowners in Alberta relocate snakes to areas of high squirrel and pocket native activity as a means of pest control. Many landowners keep safe Bullsnakes found on their lands because of them understand the benefit of reducing rodent populations.


Global Range

Global distribution of bull snake

Bullsnake’s distribution extends

  • From Alberta and Saskatchewan in the northwest,
  • Through Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • Colorado
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Into northeastern Mexico:
    • Coahuila
    • Nuevo León
    • Tamaulipas

Canadian Range

Bullsnake mostly found in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The northwestern area covered by Bullsnake’s range in Alberta occurs just north and west of Drumheller extending with the Red Deer River coulee system. From Drumheller, the range that covers the area from south to Montana and east to Saskatchewan.

It mainly found in the mixed grassland areas, in the lower Red Deer, South Saskatchewan, and Milk River valleys. In Saskatchewan, Bullsnake’s area of variation between the Alberta border to the Big Muddy Valley and north to the South Saskatchewan River.

Habitat of Bullsnake

Bull snakes are found in short- and mixed-grass with flowering plants and occasional shrubs or isolated trees, commonly in brushy and sandy areas and around badlands extending major river valleys. Although it may be found in lands for agriculture and fields in Alberta and in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. Bullsnakes were not found on land near a water body or colonies of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog. However, Bullsnakes are regularly registered in Black-tailed Prairie Dog dominion in other parts of their range.

Nesting Habitat

Eggs are usually laid in sandy or friable soils where females are able to make a hole burrow either by creating their own holes or by modifying the burrows of other animals holes. In Alberta, mostly Bullsnake nests have been found on south-facing bluffs within the valley and gorges of river valleys. Sometimes it is hard for most nesting habitat of snakes at northern latitudes, solar subjection at the sites is high.

A single nesting site may have many different chambers containing eggs from different females.

Life Cycle and Reproduction of Bullsnake

Bullsnake is an egg-laying snake with an average size of clutch 16 for a site from the northern extent of its range in Alberta. They move from the place in which a creature seeks refuge that occurs in April and July with hatchlings emerging from mid-August to mid-September ingress to hibernacula occurs in September and early October. Although most adults probably do not search for food until after the mating season, immature individuals and non-reproductive females likely start to search for food as soon as their apid transformation of a larva into adult rates have returned to active-season levels.

In Canada, the age of maturity for Bullsnakes is the same as to Great Basin Gophersnakes in British Columbia, which may not reproduce up to at least 4 years of age.

The defensive behaviors of Bullsnakes connect with their large size and occurring at the resemblance to rattlesnakes increase something likely of intentional persecution. However, Bullsnakes frequently behavior like remain motionless on roads when they are approached or passed by vehicles. Defensive behaviors of bullsnake increase the likelihood of negative interactions with humans and vehicles around them.

Population Size

Politely refuse from historical levels are inferred from road subject to death and habitat loss. Habitat in the grassland regions has been lost and reduce throughout the range of the Bullsnake in Alberta and Saskatchewan and in some other areas also. However, the snakes are visible to continue across their wide range of Canadians.

Threats To Bullsnakes


Road deaths to be the most serious problem for Bullsnake in Canada. Since the 2002 COSEWIC report that two surveys have been conducted in Alberta and in Saskatchewan of road deaths focusing on snakes, including the Bullsnake. There are many numbers of factors that make Bullsnakes admitting to road mortality, namely due to roadside distinct as habitat, their tendency to move slowly across roads, and their habit of remaining not moving here and there when threatened.


Free-ranging cattle occur across much of the Bullsnake’s majorly areas, but the effects from this land use on the species are probably only negative where overgrazing occurs. The impact on its habitat resulting from recent cancellation of public Saskatchewan Pastures Programs is unknown. The program includes 51 pastures about 780,000 acres across the province, and the sale of lands is a possibility.

The level of scrutiny for land-use changes is likely high, and it is probable that the lands will be maintained as grazing areas. Potential impacts of increasing potato farming in Alberta are deemed to be limited to the degradation of the foraging and movement habitats and to have negligible effects on hibernacula.


Oil and gas drilling was identified as a threat to Bullsnake in Alberta. Overall, however, this activity by itself was found in studies to have a low impact on Bullsnake across the species’ Canadian distribution. While the effects of oil and gas exploration and drilling on the snakes were thought to be low overall.

Residential and Commercial Development

Development of Residential and Commercial adverse effects on Bullsnake is limited to occurrences of the species on the area of population centers. Therefore local and overall impacts were determined to be less as compare to others.


Bullsnakes may be at risk from indirect poisoning via a poison used to kill rodents that are ingested when consuming rodents considered to be agricultural pests. However, it was identified that Bullsnakes majorly avoid croplands and most rodent control occurs at the edges of the large open area of grassland with only local applications within grasslands.

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