Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Spruce Woods named designated area for reptiles during Skink Fest

Spruce Woods Provincial Park interpreter Jennifer Bryson holds up a hognose snake. The park was officially named an important area for reptiles and amphibians by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network.

Enlarge Image

Spruce Woods Provincial Park interpreter Jennifer Bryson holds up a hognose snake. The park was officially named an important area for reptiles and amphibians by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network. (GRAEME BRUCE / BRANDON SUN)

The endangered northern prairie skink is Manitoba's only known lizard. During the Skink Fest event at Spruce Woods Provincial Park this weekend, the park was officially named an important area for reptiles and amphibians by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network.

Enlarge Image

The endangered northern prairie skink is Manitoba's only known lizard. During the Skink Fest event at Spruce Woods Provincial Park this weekend, the park was officially named an important area for reptiles and amphibians by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network. (GRAEME BRUCE / BRANDON SUN)

SPRUCE WOODS PROVINCIAL PARK — The Assiniboine delta and the sand hills, the desert-like lands within Spruce Woods Provincial Park, has been officially designated as an important area for reptiles and amphibians.

The label, bestowed by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network, was given to the park during its annual Skink Fest event, which celebrates Manitoba’s only known lizard, the endangered northern prairie skink.

The area has been a draw for local researchers, but park interpreter Jennifer Bryson said the announcement brings hope the park could host scientists from far and wide to study the skink, one of only five known lizard species in Canada.

"It’s really unique, this park is amazing. If you’re interested in herpetology, this is the place to go, because there’s no where else you’re going to see all the different reptiles," she said.

The event is aimed at highlighting the park’s unique landscape that the small population of skinks call home.

"They’re only found within this very small area ... the habitat they require in order to survive," Bryson said.

"They have a perfect habitat right now."

Over time, the localized subset of skink was left behind in this area, and were able to survive in the sands and hibernate by burrowing under the ground in the winter time.

The southern subspecies can be found in Oklahoma and Texas.

"It’s a protected space, so the population we have here should be OK," she said.

The skink, which can grow to about eight inches, is well known for it’s ability to detach it’s tail as a defence mechanism.

"When a predator comes, they wag their tail and then drop it," she said.

The tail itself will flop around for up to 15 minutes, allowing the lizard to escape. It takes about a year for the skink to regrow its tail.

The Skink Fest event also draws attention to the hog-nosed snake, also found in the same area as the skink.

Spruce Woods is home to 12 species of amphibians and reptiles including three species at risk.

» gbruce@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @grjbruce

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition August 25, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

SPRUCE WOODS PROVINCIAL PARK — The Assiniboine delta and the sand hills, the desert-like lands within Spruce Woods Provincial Park, has been officially designated as an important area for reptiles and amphibians.

The label, bestowed by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network, was given to the park during its annual Skink Fest event, which celebrates Manitoba’s only known lizard, the endangered northern prairie skink.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

SPRUCE WOODS PROVINCIAL PARK — The Assiniboine delta and the sand hills, the desert-like lands within Spruce Woods Provincial Park, has been officially designated as an important area for reptiles and amphibians.

The label, bestowed by the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network, was given to the park during its annual Skink Fest event, which celebrates Manitoba’s only known lizard, the endangered northern prairie skink.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media