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Are There Snakes in Alaska? All You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

The great state of Alaska is home to a wide range of wild creatures from polar bears to moose, mountain goats, and caribou. Because it’s known as The Last Frontier, you’d think that there would be venomous snakes in Alaska and water snakes in Alaska too! If you’re wondering what kind of snakes are native to Alaska, we’ve got some interesting news for you!

There are no snakes in Alaska, at least not wild snakes. Sure, there are snakes in Alaskan zoos and in homes of people who keep them as pets, but there are simply no snakes living in the vast wilderness of the beautiful state of Alaska.

new snake dividerWhat’s Up with the Missing Snakes?

The reason Alaska is snake-less is that the climate in that northern state is too cold to support snakes. As cold-blooded reptiles, snakes live in warmer climates where the ground doesn’t freeze as much as it does in Alaska and there’s less snow.

Once in a while snakes make the news in Alaska when people find snakes on their property or in the wild. The reason snakes make the Alaskan news from time to time is that the animals have simply escaped from someone’s home.

cottonmouth snake
Image Credit: Piqsels

There are Some Reptiles in Alaska

Alaska is not entirely free of reptiles as sea turtles have been seen off Alaska’s southeastern coast. Among the sea turtles spotted along Alaskan coastlines include the following species:

Sea Turtles Spotted along Alaskan Coastlines
  • Green Sea Turtle
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle
  • Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

While these turtle species are seen now and then along the southeastern coast of Alaska, there are not many of them spotted. These marine turtles simply prefer to spend their time in warmer waters. And in case you were wondering, Alaska’s chilly climate cannot support any land turtles including box turtles and tortoises.

There are More Amphibians in Alaska Than Reptiles

In case you need a little refresher concerning the difference between reptiles and amphibians, we’ll tell you how they differ to help jog your memory. Amphibians include animals like frogs, toads, and salamanders that spend part of their life cycle in water. Reptiles include animals like snakes, turtles, and lizards which don’t need water to survive, although they often live near water and even spend some time in it.

There are six species of amphibian native to Alaska and they include:

Six species of Amphibian
  • Columbia Spotted Frog
  • Wood Frog
  • Roughskin Newt
  • Long-Toed Salamander
  • Northwestern Salamander
  • Western Toad

If you’re wondering why there are so few amphibians living in Alaska, it’s because of the state’s climate. Just like with snakes, Alaska’s climate is too cold to support many amphibians that spend part of their lives in water. The amphibians that do live in Alaska are hearty enough to survive the cooler climate.

Long-nosed Snake_Hairulazuar_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Hairulazuar, Shutterstock

Alaska is Home to One Odd Creature

If you travel to Alaska, you won’t run across any snakes which is good news if you’re not a snake fan. If you’re lucky, you may spot a few marine turtles off the southeastern coast, although it’s not likely. Alaska is home to one very weird creature you could encounter that lives in the ice.

The Ice Worm is a relative of the common earthworm and the only segmented worm known to spend its entire life in glacial ice. The common earthworm would freeze solid and die in very cold temperatures but not the Ice Worm. This creepy crawler is able to increase its cellular energy levels and thrive in extreme cold.

If the Ice Worm is exposed to temperatures above freezing, its small black body will begin to deteriorate. As the worm is exposed to warmer temperatures, its body will simply turn to mush and it dies.

new snake dividerConclusion

Without a doubt, Alaska is the best state for the die-hard snake-o-phobe. There are no snakes living in The Last Frontier except for a few in the zoos and peoples’ homes that are kept as pets.

Alaska isn’t the only snake-less place on earth. You won’t run across any snakes in the Arctic or Antarctic nor will any slither by you while visiting the northernmost parts of Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Canada as well as the southernmost tip of South America.


Featured Image Credit: Ken Griffiths,Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.