I was recently awarded a Wildlife Diversity Small Grant from South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to survey for the state-threatened Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos). The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is a medium-sized, state-threatened snake that is distributed across most of the eastern USA, throughout the Great Lakes region, and into the Great Plains. Within the Great Plains, Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes reach their northernmost extent in South Dakota. Previously, the Eastern Hog-nosed Snake was thought to be restricted to extreme southeastern South Dakota along the Missouri River in Clay and Union counties, until two additional records greatly expanded the putative distribution of this species in the state. The first was a specimen collected from Chamberlain, Brule County in 1943 (Biodiversity Collections, University of Texas at Austin [TNHC] 106094) that was part of a recently accessioned voucher specimen collection from South Dakota State University. The second was a photograph of an Eastern Hog-nosed Snake from Rosebud Reservation, Todd County taken in 2017 (HerpMapper [HM] 193175). These new records are ca. 221 and 324 km west of the nearest record of Eastern Hog-nosed Snake in Clay County (University of Nebraska State Museum [UNSM] ZM-16478), represent the only known records for this species in central and western South Dakota, and provide evidence that populations of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes occur along the Missouri River and riparian corridors in south-central South Dakota. To better understand the distribution and occurrence of Eastern Hog-nosed Snakes, I will conduct a series of targeted surveys for this species in south-central South Dakota.
Grant Title: Surveys for the state-threatened Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in south-central South Dakota