Places Protected in the Islands

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Sharp-tailed snakes (nicknamed affectionately by biologists as 'Sharpies') are common in California and Oregon, but found in only a few isolated locations in B.C.  Nationally endangered, and provincially rare, Sharpies are unique in that they're the 'only child' of the genus Contia (unlike garter snakes, of which there are 11 species).  In B.C., most sharp-tailed snake habitat is in the most densely populated parts of the province, making their future insecure.

A rocky knoll on Don and Teresa Williams' property was found to contain vital sharp-tailed snake habitat, and the only known winter hibernation site in Canada.  Biologists have studied the snakes on Don and Teresa's property since 1996.  Much of our understanding of this endangered species originates from this property, and the habitat provided here is thought to be essential to the survival of this species in B.C.

In 2003, the Williams' protected the Sharp-tailed Snake habitat on their property with a conservation covenant.  The covenant protects the snakes by preventing current and future owners from cutting trees, removing snags and woody debris, introducing non-native plant species or damaging the rocky outcrop where the snakes are known to hibernate.  The Provincial Sharp-tailed Snake Recovery Team assisted the Williams with the costs associated with registering their covenant.

CSS - Steil

The Steils and the Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil now enjoy a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 10/02/16
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