I wonder how they figure that out. Poor snakes. We have seen them during many of our Wilderness Traverse course tests - as you will remember!
They radio track them to their hibernacula in fall (tracking devices are inserted into the snakes at the Toronto Zoo) then they wait to track for them to come out in spring. If they don't they keep waiting for a period of time until they dig the dead ones out. They hibernate above water table and below the frost line. So they have precious little buffer for a cold winter and/or a mid winter thaw. Last year Parry sound already had >1m of snow that then melted and then got very cold. Inter annual variability is not good for these guys. I'm finding this research application quite interesting. Of course doing research in great AR and O terrain and close to some of the best freshwater paddling in the World and the Waddtage is also appealing. :-)
If you need any help... :)
Well we do need people to snowshoe out to our sites every two weeks this winter to download data and clear snow off our solar panels.
Snakes, why did it have to be snakes...
No cuddly rabbits out there?
Asps... Very dangerous. You go first.
This could be training for the Snowshoe Raid!