Captive Breeding & Husbandry Program
New at the Vivarium: Check Out Our Livestream!
Click here to view our livestream of the Vivarium, where you may catch a glimpse of the gartersnake residents!
Notes from the Vivarium: Babies are Born!
Click here to find out all the updates about our newest residents at the Vivarium!
History of the Vivarium
In 2014, after the Slide Fire threatened their habitat in Oak Creek, several immature narrow-headed gartersnakes were brought to NAU to establish a new student research-focused captive breeding program at NAU. The snakes do not thrive in traditional indoor holding facilities; thus, NAU researchers have partnered with NAU’s Green Fund, the US Forest Service (Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests), the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Conservation and Mitigation Program, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Flagstaff Ecological Services office, to create a semi-outdoor naturalistic space for the snakes within a federally-accredited animal holding facility on the NAU campus.
Special thanks go to all of our student interns and technicians who have made this project possible through their hard work and dedication; and to many NAU supporters who helped bring this project to life: Kathleen Viskocil, Agnes Drogi, John Morris and the staff of Facility Services; Peter Gomersall and staff from NAU Information Technology Services; Scott Nichols, DVM and Leslie Hempleman, Animal Care Manager; Phil Patterson, Research Greenhouse; Greg Florian, Machine Shop; Jason Ailiff, NAU Telecom Services; the staff at the Office of Sponsored Projects; and others in Carpentry and the trades. We are also indebted to David Ward of the US Geological Survey’s Southwest Biological Science Center for his time and expertise in developing the water feature; and to Rob Lautze of Garland’s Lodge Orchards, Stephen Saunders of Hidden Light, LLC, and John A. Nowak II and III for their generous donations of materials.