The Midland Brown Snake found in the eastern United States, like many snake species migrates between winter hibernation areas and summer habitat in the Spring and Autumn. In many areas, even including the wilder or more rural areas and within State Parks where it is found, this means having to cross roads. To this small harmless snake the length of a pencil, a tarmacadamed road surface which holds the heat seems the ideal spot to pause to raise the body temperature on that journey but is also the cause of its demise. Its size and colouration means it is effectively invisible to passing traffic. While the Midland Brown Snake is not under conservation concern, the number of snakes being killed each year is high and some populations are endemic to specific areas. Howard Stableford joins a research team in an Eastern Illinois state park to find out how they are monitoring this beautiful snake, whether dead or alive, and how the information they are gathering may help other populations of this snake or other reptiles at threat from roads.
Produced by Sheena Duncan.