The Snakes of Ontario
Natural History, Distribution, and Status




Review by Ronald J. Brooks, within The Canadian Field-Naturalist

Review by Francis R. Cook within The Canadian Herpetologist


About The Book


The Snakes of Ontario: Natural History, Distribution, and Status provides a comprehensive account of Ontario's 18 snake species and subspecies, their distribution in the province, their natural history, and the conservation challenges that exist in ensuring their continued survival. The Timber Rattlesnake, a species no longer found in Ontario, is also discussed at length, and much valuable historical information is provided concerning its former distribution in the province and the factors that led to its extirpatation. Background information is provided on the evolution of snakes, the biogeographical history that led to their presence in Ontario, the history of their study, and conservation issues.

The information presented in the book is based on a thorough review of published scientific literature, historical accounts, and a large volume of "gray literature"(i.e., unpublished reports, master's and doctoral theses, and society newsletters). Range maps are provided that document the current and, where possible, historical distribution of each species. All sources are cited, making this a valuable reference for those involved in the study and/or conservation of the province's snakes. Much of the information provided by the book will also have relevance to the naturalists and biologists of adjacent states and provinces. With over 242 colour photographs, the book will also appeal to the more casual reader.

“It is with pleasure and satisfaction that I recommend this book as a thorough, original, and comprehensive overview and reference to the snakes of Ontario, to both the serious academic student, the casual naturalist and all those in between these poles.”

Francis R. Cook
Researcher/Curator Emeritus, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa

“The Snakes of Ontario melds the herpetological, biological, and historical into a compelling picture of our relationship with other creatures…This book is a must for any serious herpetologist, but it should also appeal to a wide range of naturalists and biologists.”

Ronald J. Brooks
Emeritus Professor, Integrative Biology, University of Guelph.

“A very major contribution to Canadian herpetology which will enhance the appreciation and conservation of snakes in Ontario.”

Michael J. Oldham
Botanist/Herpetologist, Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre


About The Author

Jeffrey Rowell is an amateur naturalist who resides in Toronto, Ontario. Although his formal scientific training lies in the field of Geology (B.Sc. Queen's University), he has maintained an interest in snakes since his childhood, and has been involved, informally, in the study of Ontario's snakes for most of the past decade.